Di Matteo to make changes for Gunners showdown

Chelsea manager Roberto di Matteo has confirmed he is likely to make changes for Saturday’s top-four showdown with Arsenal.

Chelsea manager Roberto di Matteo has confirmed he is likely to make changes for Saturday’s top-four showdown with Arsenal.

The lunchtime engagement at the Emirates seems sure to be crucial in the Blues’ battle to secure qualification for next season’s Champions League.

However, after backing up Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final triumph over Tottenham by recording an outstanding semi-final first-leg win against Barcelona, Di Matteo is aware some of his players may be getting tired.

With a trip to the Nou Camp looming on Tuesday, the Italian realises the need to rotate his squad.

And that should mean the return of £50million record signing Fernando Torres, who remained on the bench throughout last night’s 1-0 win, and probably Michael Essien, Florent Malouda, Saloman Kalou and Jose Bosingwa.

“We will have to assess the players but there is a good chance some fresh ones will come in,” said Di Matteo.

“Also, they deserve to be in the team as well. I left a few players out against Barcelona because I have to make decisions. We will see about Saturday but I have it in mind to give one or two a start.”

Chelsea are currently sixth in the Premier League but victory would, briefly, lift them into fourth spot, above Tottenham and Newcastle, and leave the Blues just four points adrift of third-placed Arsenal with a game in hand.

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