Terry returns to plug Chelsea's leaky defence

Tue Nov 6, 2012 5:27am GMT

By Tony Jimenez

LONDON (Reuters) - Captain John Terry will be back to plug Chelsea's porous rearguard on Wednesday when the holders bid to avenge last month's defeat by Shakhtar Donetsk and wrest back control of Champions League Group E.

The Londoners shipped 10 goals in the four games that centre half Terry missed after he was suspended for racially abusing Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand.

"John is an important player for us for sure and a fantastic defender and when he plays he always does very well," coach Roberto Di Matteo told reporters last week.

"The other players have done fantastic jobs when they have come in but certainly JT is a player that we miss."

Terry and his fellow defenders will need to be at their best against a classy Shakhtar side who gave Chelsea the run-around for long spells to win 2-1 in Ukraine two weeks ago.

Di Matteo's team started the season in sparkling fashion, winning seven of their opening eight games in the Premier League, but confidence has taken a knock since the defeat in Shakhtar.

Chelsea went down 3-2 at home to Manchester United five days later before they turned the tables on their Old Trafford rivals by beating the former European champions 5-4 in a League Cup thriller at Stamford Bridge on October 31.

Di Matteo was then without Terry, Frank Lampard, David Luiz and Juan Mata for last Saturday's disappointing 1-1 draw at Swansea City that meant Chelsea were knocked off the top of the Premier League table by United.   Continued...

Chelsea's John Terry (L) celebrates his goal against Queens Park Rangers with Ashley Cole during their English Premier League soccer match at Stamford Bridge in London April 29, 2012. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh
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