Didier Drogba and his Ivory Coast team-mates will be returning to their clubs earlier than expected after the favourites were dumped out of the Africa Cup of Nations by Algeria in a dramatic quarter-final in Cabinda last night, losing 3-2 after extra time.Bad news for Portsmouth who will remain without Yedba and Belhadj for their upcoming two match week.
What? That's not the first thing you thought of when you read that? Oh, you're more interested in DROGBA'S POTENTIAL RETURN FOR CHELSEA'S DOUBLE GAME WEEK?
Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou could face Burnley on Saturday following Ivory Coast's elimination from the Africa Cup of Nations.UPDATE: One more Chelsea related note:
The strikers are expected back at Chelsea by Wednesday following the 3-2 defeat to Algeria in the quarterfinals yesterday...
While their return will be too late to face Birmingham in two days, they should be ready to play at Burnley, which means they will have only missed four games.
There were concerns Drogba would have to serve a one-match ban having picked up his fifth yellow card of the season against Fulham, but the Football Association have deemed that he served the suspension against Watford on 3 January, even though he had already left the country to join up with the Ivory Coast squad.
Chelsea are confident Frank Lampard will be fit to face Birmingham, even though he limped off in the 2-0 FA Cup win against Preston with a slight calf strain. Juliano Belletti is expected to miss the game after twisting his knee.
Leftback Ashley Cole joins Essien on the sidelines because of an ankle problem but will be replaced by Russia international Yuri Zhirkov and should be back in action early next month.So Zhirkov becomes a nice, cheap midfield option. It breaks the rules as he's a defender listed in midfield, but in this case I'll allow it.