Drogba returns for Chelsea

But Wilkins says Cole and Ballack will not be involved

Last updated: 11th November 2008   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Drogba returns for Chelsea

Drogba: To start against Burnley

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Didier Drogba is back in the Chelsea squad for the Carling Cup tie against Burnley, but Joe Cole and Michael Ballack will not feature.

Ivory Coast striker Drogba missed Sunday's Premier League win at Blackburn Rovers, having featured in the previous two games as a substitute.

He is now back to fitness after a knee injury and is expected to play against Burnley, with assistant boss Ray Wilkins happy to have competition for Nicolas Anelka.

Wilkins said: "Didier trained very well yesterday, he also trained today with the guys and is back in the squad, so that's very pleasant for our situation because obviously we do have Nic in fantastic form.

"With Didier breathing down his neck for a game it is a nice situation to be in."

However, Joe Cole will miss the fourth-round tie due to his ongoing injury troubles and, though Ballack is back in training after a foot operation, the German midfielder will also not be involved.

Injury niggles

"Joe's coming on, but he won't be involved tomorrow," added Wilkins. "We're just going to wait and see on Joe.

"He's got a couple of little niggles he's been carrying for a couple of weeks, so we'll just hang on with Joe.

"He's (Ballack) doing very well. He has joined the group again from an operation on his feet and is back in the fold as well.

"We are gradually getting to a situation where we are getting a full squad. Michael Essien is the one who will be sitting out for quite a period, but Ashley Cole is doing some light training, so from that aspect we're delighted."

Chelsea are likely to rotate their squad for the visit of Burnley, but Wilkins revealed all the players are eager to face the Championship side.

He continued: "We've done exceptionally well over the last couple of years in the Carling Cup and the boys have actually expressed the fact they don't want to be left out.

"They want to play in every game and that's an extremely positive attitude to take, and I'm delighted that they've taken that stance as well. It shows there is this winning mentality in the club and they want to win every game they play."