Terry to miss cup clash with U's

IT MIGHT be a case of clutching at straws, but at least League One promotion hopefuls Colchester United won't have to contend with England centre-half John Terry at this Sunday's FA Cup fifth round tie at Chelsea.

By Carl Marston

IT MIGHT be a case of clutching at straws, but at least League One promotion hopefuls Colchester United won't have to contend with England centre-half John Terry at this Sunday's FA Cup fifth round tie at Chelsea.

The imperious Terry has only missed one match all season, against Huddersfield Town in the third round of the FA Cup.

But the 25-year-old will be forced to sit out this weekend's clash against Phil Parkinson's men, due to suspension.


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Not even England midfielder Frank Lampard can rival Terry for appearances this term. Skipper Terry has started 36 of Chelsea's 37 fixtures, while Lampard has featured in “only” 35.

But the Premiership leaders, who were humbled 3-0 at Middlesbrough last weekend, have welcomed back into the fold their two stars from the African Nations Cup, striker Didier Drogba and right-sided player Geremi.

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Drogba was a losing finalist with Ivory Coast, while Geremi's Cameroon side bowed out of the competition at an earlier stage.

Recent injury victims Damien Duff, the former Blackburn winger, and left-back Asier Del Horno, have also returned to training this week. Duff was a £17m purchase from Ewood Park during the summer of 2003, while Del Horno cost £8m from Spanish side Athletic Bilbao last summer.

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho cannot wait for Sunday. It is a game he has been relishing ever since his side suffered their heaviest defeat in his 20-month reign on the Stamford Bridge hot-seat, at Middlesbrough last weekend.

“It's a pity we couldn't play in two or three days, as I like to play straight away after a bad game,” insisted Mourinho.

“We have to wait until Sunday, but the players have had time to think about the defeat at Middlesbrough.”

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