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Cech joins Terry and Drogba on Chelsea sidelines

Three of the quartet that comprise the spine of Chelsea’s team are now sidelined as The Guardian report that Petr Cech will miss the Boxing Day clash with Aston Villa and potentially the rest of the festive fixtures. Will the Blues be forced into making an emergency keeper signing in January?

“[Cech] will have a scan,” said the Chelsea manager, who had the consolation of seeing his side record a 1-0 win at Blackburn, ensuring Arsenal and Manchester United did not increase their advantage at the top over the weekend.

Grant described Cech’s injury as a “side strain” and added: “I wanted to take him off before but he wanted to play on for five more minutes in case he felt better.”

The Israeli is hopeful Cech’s injury will not prove to be serious – “with this kind of injury it’s a matter of days sometimes” – but he could be forced to sign an emergency replacement depending on scan results and Cudicini’s progress.

Injuries are clearly testing Chelsea’s resolve to the limit, although the return of Carvalho has meant the defence retain a solid look, while the likes of Joe Cole, Lampard and Kalou are covering well for the injured Drogba. Quite whether they’ll have enough firepower to challenge for the title may depend on who they sign in the January transfer window.

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