By Steve Tongue
LONDON (Reuters) - Chelsea captain John Terry will return for the Premier League leaders at home to Everton on Saturday but fellow defender David Luiz is unfit.
Centre half Terry has been absent for three games and manager Jose Mourinho said he was missed, especially in the 2-0 FA Cup fifth-round defeat at Manchester City last Saturday.
"It's important especially as we don't have David Luiz," Mourinho told a news conference at Chelsea's training ground.
Brazilian Luiz has a muscle injury near his pelvis but could be fit for the Champions League last-16 first leg at Galatasaray on Wednesday.
"The fact that John is ready gives balance. He has a basic level of performance that gives stability to the team and is not a player that makes big mistakes," said Mourinho.
"A team with lots of young people needs stability from the back which is keeping us in a good position in the league."
Terry has played more than 600 games for Chelsea and Mourinho said it was important to have an authoritative voice on the pitch for occasions when he could not be heard from the touchline.
"Sometimes there are things to control far away from my position and I can't communicate so to have a player on the pitch who can transmit what I need is important," the Portuguese added.
Everton, who are 12 points behind Chelsea in sixth place, have not won at Stamford Bridge since 1994 but Mourinho said that was irrelevant.
"I don't think statistics play a part," he explained. "We think we can beat them but we are not influenced by what happened in the past.
"They are a difficult opponent who defend well and are dangerous on the counter-attack."
(Editing by Tony Jimenez) nL3N0LQ3QN
- Sports & Recreation
- Jose Mourinho
- John Terry
- David Luiz