Juan Mata's back and ready for action

Mike Hewitt

The injuries to Juan Mata and David Luiz have been masterpieces of bad timing. Or annoying timing, I suppose -- the fact that neither played against Hull City on Sunday helped feed the narrative that they weren't Jose Mourinho's sort of player and that he'd be thinking of moving them on. Fortunately, it looks like we'll be getting one of them back for the Aston Villa match:

I am looking forward to being involved. It was better to stop and I didn't go to the national team, but now I am ready to play.

After my first game in pre-season when I played 45 minutes against Inter, I felt my thigh was a bit tight, I carried on in the second game against Milan, but the day before Real Madrid I felt more pain. We did a scan and I had a small problem, which can be dangerous in that muscle because I shoot with that left foot, so I stopped and didn't train for a few days.

I came back, worked with the physios and on Thursday last week trained with the team for the first time, not at 100 per cent, but trying to get to my best and now I feel better and am looking forward to playing and starting my season.

-Juan Mata. Source: ChelseaFC.com.

So, good news. One of the things that we were missing against Hull (that I didn't have time to include in my match analysis) was someone to conduct play between the lines -- we were very dangerous when transitioning from the middle third to the attacking but had difficulty once the defence was set up. Mata, of course, is the archetypal between the lines assist machine, and it'll be good to have him back in the starting lineup, which is where these quotes seem to imply he'll be.

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