It seems that even though Chelsea are one of the most complete teams in the world, the fact that they have played an average of three games per week has really taken a toll on their squad in recent matches. After Ashley Cole was declared out for a couple of weeks because of an injury suffered against United, Ryan Bertrand looked more than capable of replacing the English international. Unluckily for Bertrand, he has become sick, leaving Benitez with almost no one to start as a left back for the match against Rubin Kazan. Nathan Ake seems to be the only plausible solution and will most likely start against the Russian side. The Europa League clash will take place tonight and will be a more than difficult encounter considering several of Chelsea’s players are injured due to their demanding schedule.
According to Dailymail.co.uk, Ake has featured as a substitute all throughout this season and has even managed to get some pitch time in the FA Cup matches. This being said, it is clear that he is not yet ready to face big games on a regular basis but you have to throw youngsters in at the deep end sometime and it looks tonight is the night for young Nathan Ake vs Ruban Kazan. The 18 year old is best used as a defensive midfielder, but will probably do a good job playing on the left flank of the defensive line. He is fast and has good concentration, which will definitely help him to a certain extent.
Unfortunately, Benitez cannot count on Cahill tonight, as he underwent minor surgery which will keep him out for at least four weeks in total. Chelsea’s defender was one of the many players who expressed their issues with the compressed schedule they have faced. Just after declaring that three games per week are a lot to handle, he suffered a knee injury that could not be treated without a medical procedure.
Both Cole and Cahill are back training, but they will not be appearing together sooner than the end of April. It is too bad that the Blues have so many injuries to deal with as their last few matches have been great and fans are really getting their hopes up.