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Di Matteo talks Mata, Marin and handshakes at pre-QPR press conference

Incredibly, during his time off Mata's managed to learn how to physically project his thoughts onto walls.
Incredibly, during his time off Mata's managed to learn how to physically project his thoughts onto walls.

Normal football service resumes tomorrow, and with it, we have our usual bunch of Friday quotes from the Chelsea manager. Today, Roberto Di Matteo had lots of different things to talk about, and he started off by confirming that defenders John Terry and Ashley Cole are eligible for selection against Queens Park Rangers, both having shrugged off niggling injuries picked up on the international break*. That should be good news for a Chelsea side that didn't look that great on the defending front last time out against Athletic Madrid. Furthermore, the return of two experienced campaigners could mean there's enough 'security' in the back four to hand Cesar Azpilicueta a debut, which would be exciting for all concerned.

*This is why international breaks are annoying.

Secondly, you should all be able to guess how excited I am about this piece of news, but the handshakes will go ahead at Loftus Road, meaning we are all set for a tension-filled showdown concerning the respective paws of Terry and Anton Ferdinand.

Di Matteo also gave us an update on the condition on some of our attacking midfielders: firstly, Marko Marin will continue his return from a prolonged hamstring injury with a stint in the U21's tonight, which should make their game against Liverpool a little bit more interesting. Speaking of the U21s', it was also confirmed that Florent Malouda has indeed been condemned to their training for the season.

Finally, Chelsea asked Spain for Juan Mata to be dropped from the international squad to allow him a bit of rest: they obliged, and he's since returned today to the squad. The hope is he will be rejuvenated by his time off, as he was looking extra fatigued in Chelsea's games so far - understandably, considering the amount of game time he was allocated last season. Di Matteo did also mention that it's not entirely clear if Mata will have a role against QPR (he definitely will be ready for Juventus next week), which might see Victor Moses or Oscar given a first start for Chelsea.

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