• Europa League

Cole and Cahill return boost for Chelsea

ESPN staff
April 24, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Ashley Cole will look to help Chelsea become European winners for a second season in a row © PA Photos
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Chelsea defenders Gary Cahill and Ashley Cole have both been included in the Blues' travelling squad for their Europa League semi-final first leg against FC Basel.

The England internationals have been absent in recent weeks, with Cahill suffering from a knee problem while Cole has been nursing a hamstring injury.

However, they handed Benitez a boost ahead of a hectic run-in by taking part in a training session at Chelsea's Cobham training ground on Wednesday and both boarded the plane to Switzerland.

It had been thought the trip to Basel would comes a little too soon for Cole and it is as yet unclear whether he will feature in Thursday night's game, though he appears certain to play in this weekend's Premier League clash with Swansea.

Cahill is more likely to be involved at St Jakob Park and could make his first appearance since last month's victory over West Ham.

Oscar has also been included in Rafa Benitez's squad after shaking off a minor groin problem picked up during Sunday's 2-2 draw with Liverpool.

Meanwhile, Basel coach Murat Yakin has cheekily claimed that his side are unlikely to resort to "Dracula tactics" against the Blues, in reference to Luis Suarez's well-publicised bite on Branislav Ivanovic.

"I hope Ivanovic won't be suffering from rabies when he comes over to Basel," Yakin joked. "Will we also use Dracula tactics on Chelsea?

"We have the necessary bite to do so - but I would prefer it if the match doesn't end up resembling a game of Pac-Man."

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