VALENCIA - Chelsea manager Andre
Villas-Boas has given few clues about the team he will select
for Wednesday's Champions League game at Valencia but described
his players as "out of this world."
Juan Mata is back at former club Valencia for the first time
since joining the Londoners last month and Frank Lampard is also
in the squad after being rested at the weekend.
Villas-Boas, however, refused to say on Tuesday whether Mata
or Lampard would start the Group E match.
"We can put 11 strong players on the pitch tomorrow because
the talent we have at our disposal is out of this world and we
just hope to make the right decisions," the Portuguese told
"It's 26 players competing for 11 starts."
Villas-Boas has begun his Chelsea career by rotating his
players in the Champions League, Premier League and League Cup
and said it was a policy he would maintain throughout the
"It will continue like this," he explained. "All of the
players are proven successful individuals at this club.
"I think we have made good decisions regarding rest and
active periods. At the moment we are in a tight schedule, these
players break up for the international break [next week] and we
have to manage the balance between resting and playing."
Villas-Boas added there was "nothing dramatic" about his
Asked if playmaker Mata would start against Valencia, he
said: "It will have to depend on the strategy we want to use. I
just make choices like any other manager.
"Different players react differently when coming back home
or to an emotional place. You just have to wait and see if he is
going to be involved."
Villas-Boas was equally vague about the prospect of
vice-captain Lampard playing and dismissed media speculation the
midfielder's Chelsea future was in doubt after being left on the
bench against Swansea City at the weekend.
"Frank is an established top-quality player and is one of
the most important players for the club and will continue to be
like that," said the manager.
"He is established for Chelsea and for England, he has
nothing to prove to the football world. He is a spectacular team
player, a spectacular professional."
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