Date:13th September 2011 at 1:18am
Written by:

What’s the worst way to prepare for a game against the Premier League title holders and current table toppers ahead of visit to their ground?

How’s about your misfiring £50 million striker labelling his team mates ‘slow’? Or the news your other striker who has a great record against United, won’t be playing?

Didier Drogba has been ruled out of Sunday’s game following a concussion he picked up against Norwich last week. The Guardian reports:

Chelsea are resigned to being without Didier Drogba for Sunday’s daunting trip to the champions, Manchester United, as the Ivory Coast forward continues his recovery after suffering concussion during his team’s victory over Norwich City last month.

The 33-year-old was ruled out of international duty during the recent break and has since resumed only light training. Indeed, the club’s approach to his recovery continues to be cautious given the severity of the clash. Drogba missed his team-mates’ public training session yesterday ahead of the Champions League tie against Bayer Leverkusen, with André Villas-Boas suggesting he had been given a few days off to address dental issues caused when he fell to the turf in the original incident.

Meanwhile Fernando Torres has been doing his best to placate fans and team mates, following his disastrous spell at Stamford Bridge, with some well timed comments.

The Guardian notes:

It is understood that, privately, the Londoners are unwilling to risk the forward [Drogba] in Sunday’s trip to Old Trafford and would prefer to see evidence that he is completely over the after-effects of his fall before they thrust him back into first-team contention.

That is likely to see Fernando Torres, dropped to the bench for Saturday’s win at Sunderland, restored to the starting lineup against United despite Chelsea seeking an explanation from their £50m forward for comments, published on his official website last week, in which he appeared to criticise his “older” club-mates as “very slow”.

Torres has since told Villas-Boas and Chelsea’s staff that the remarks were inaccurately translated, with the club now seeking a copy of the original interview to make their own judgment. In the interview, which has since been removed from, the player suggested the kind of player Chelsea currently boast is: “an older player, who plays very slow, who has a lot of possession… and that’s what the club is trying to change now … When the team will start to get the ideas of the new coach, about paced and vertical football, it’s going to be very good. [Juan] Mata is the kind of player who gives another pace to the game, another way of slipping his markers … that’s something Chelsea lacks nowadays.”

Drogba’s absence and Torres’s petulance don’t mean United have already won the game by any stretch, but considering the start the Reds have had and the problems Chelsea face, it’s difficult not to feel confident going into Sunday’s match.

Follow Red Flag Flying High on Twitter and on Facebook