Kalou - I'll be ready for Pompey
Chelsea's Salomon Kalou is confident he will be fit for next Wednesday's match against Portsmouth.
By Peter Fraser
Last Updated: 11/12/09 3:58pm
Chelsea striker Salomon Kalou is confident he will be fit for next Wednesday's Premier League match against Portsmouth.
The Ivory Coast international has been ruled out of Saturday's home meeting with Everton after sustaining a thigh muscle tear in the Carling Cup defeat to Blackburn at the start of December.
It was diagnosed that Kalou would be sidelined for at least two weeks as a result of the injury and he was therefore in a race against time to be involved when rock-bottom Pompey visit Stamford Bridge next week.
But the 24-year-old has returned to training and expects to be available for selection when Carlo Ancelotti's table-topping Chelsea welcome former Blues boss Avram Grant's current club.
"I am fine now and have been back in training," the forward, who has been permitted by Ancelotti to take part in the African Cup of Nations in January, told skysports.com. "I will be able to return for the next game against Portsmouth."
Kalou remains convinced that the league title is Chelsea's to throw away despite a wobble in form following a defeat at Manchester City and a UEFA Champions League draw with Apoel Nicosia, games the forward has missed due to injury.
The setback against City in their last domestic outing allowed second-placed Manchester United to close the gap at the summit to two points in the wake of the defending champions' demolition job on West Ham at Upton Park.
But Kalou believes Chelsea, who have already defeated Liverpool, United and Arsenal this season, remain in the box-seat and expects his team-mates to bounce back against David Moyes' struggling Everton in West London.
"We are still in front and I think that with the squad that we have we can always manage to win games, and important games," he said.
"Our strength this year is that every big game we manage to have a good game. So we have to keep doing that and grab every point that we can if we want to win the title."
He said when asked for his reaction to defeat at City: "It is not always nice to lose, but you can win every game and then there are some games like that.
"Manchester City was a difficult game and we dropped some points. But that is not the first time we have lost our way and afterwards we always bounce back."
He added: "I think Chelsea are the favourites. Every season Chelsea have always been the favourites.
"This season we are even stronger. We are still in front and that is good for the confidence."
Salomon Kalou was speaking at an event for Thomas Cook Sport, official travel partner of Chelsea and the UK's number one sports tour operator. Thomas Cook Sport takes football fans closer to the live action and offers Chelsea match breaks and 2010 World Cup packages. For more information, visit www.thomascooksport.com or call 020 8739 2360.