With his status for the first leg match against Atletico Madrid still in doubt, Chelsea FC midfielder Eden Hazard traveled to Madrid with the squad despite not training since his injury. Striker Samuel Eto’o did not travel with the team because of a “minor knee irritation” leaving Chelsea with only two striking options in Fernando Torres and Demba Ba. Hazard was the bigger injury concern coming in to the match and many speculated that he would not be fit enough to play. That may still be the case but the fact that he made the trip could see him make an appearance on the substitute’s bench. Hazard still has not trained and missed the squad’s training session in Madrid this afternoon.
As for Samuel Eto’o, he seemed to be fit on the weekend and did not appear to suffer any injuries during the match. He has been in solid form since his return from a hamstring injury and was likely to play a part in, if not start, Tuesday’s match. The only word on Eto’o is that he stayed behind due to what is being called a “minor knee irritation”. The Cameroonian striker does not usually start away from Stamford Bridge but he would have been a nice option to bring off the bench.
Eto’o’s injury leaves Jose Mourinho with the decision of whether to start Demba Ba or Fernando Torres. Ba has been in form and has scored two massive goals for Chelsea before the Sunderland match where he missed a golden chance. Torres spent twelve years of his career at Atletico Madrid and will be eager to impress after being linked with a move back to the club.
Whether that eagerness will result in nerves and pressure or will and determination is yet to be seen. Torres will likely still see some time on the pitch if he does not start but that honor should go to Ba. These injuries make for an even tougher task for the Blues but they have experience on their side compared to a relatively green Atletico side and the winner will be the side more apt to dealing with the pressure of a Champions League semifinal.
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