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Ramires returns from illness

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Well thank goodness:

Ramires is fine, Marin is still out, so apart from his hamstring injury we are okay. It won't be long, but it might not be before the international break, we will have to see.

We are slowly looking to integrate Oscar like we did with the other signings. He hasn't been with us long so we have to give him the right time to get used to his new team-mates, the club and the team, do some tactical work with him and slowly put him into the team.

-Roberto di Matteo. Source:

Ramires, of course, missed out on the season opener through illness, forcing Ryan Bertrand into the lineup on the left hand side. That's suboptimal, and not just because playing a auxiliary fullback at left wing is going to cost you in terms of attacking ability -- with Bertrand in the lineup Juan Mata gets pushed to the right, where he is kind of... bad. Having Ramires back fixes that problem.

That said, we might not see Mata at all during the midweek game against Reading. Eden Hazard was the player pulled off early with that fixture in mind, and with Mata looking exhausted from a year's worth of nonstop football (and di Matteo already talking about giving him some rest), it wouldn't be a shock to see him benched on Wednesday. How do you think we'd set up in his absence?

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