Premier League - Terry still on target to face Arsenal

John Terry is ready to pull out all the stops to ensure he keeps fit enough to start Chelsea's crunch Premier League clash at Arsenal on Saturday if cleared to do so.


Terry has been unable to train normally this week while at Wembley fighting a Football Association charge of using racist language towards Anton Ferdinand.

That did not prevent Blues boss Roberto Di Matteo picking his captain for last night's Capital One Cup 6-0 thrashing of Wolves.

Provided Terry does not begin a suspension during Saturday's trip to the Emirates Stadium - something that is possible if he is found guilty in his hearing and elects not to appeal - he could go into the game with little time under his belt training alongside his team-mates.

But Chelsea assistant manager Eddie Newton said: "The fact is he's got a lot of minutes under his belt already.

"There are ways and means around it when it comes to training, after what he does at the FA. We'll work out scenarios and we'll be in constant contact with John, the fitness coaches and medical staff will get around him and make sure he's prepared in the best way possible, as we always do."

Terry was only cleared on Tuesday afternoon to play for Chelsea against Wolves, Newton revealed.

The defender left Wembley at 1.15pm on Tuesday and asked when the final decision over his involvement had been taken, Newton said: "This afternoon."

Newton denied Terry had specifically asked to be involved but added: "We wanted John to start. Obviously, with everything happening with the FA, we had to see how it panned out.

"We had a phone call (saying) he was making his way back from the FA nice and early, so it wasn't last minute. We'd covered all the bases, all the scenarios, and the best one happened."

Newton was pleased with the display from a much-changed side - even Fernando Torres scored, probably to the striker's relief.

But Newton said: "Relief isn't the word, to be honest. Nando's positive. We're always talking with him and he's very positive. He's feeling a lot sharper. The goals will come. We all believe that. You can't expect it to be a flood all of a sudden."

Wolves boss Stale Solbakken made 10 changes in defiance of new Football League rules that demand their clubs play a strong team in the competitions.

Sanctions for a breach do not come into effect until next season and Solbakken said: "Next year is next year. It's my least problem this year. You can ask me this time next year.

Solbakken's priority is getting Wolves back in the Premier League and he added: "If we beat Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday, I'll be fine. The fans will understand. That's why I put the squad out early on the website yesterday."

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