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Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Chelsea's Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard face axe against Schalke.. and Fernando Torres is injured


Chelsea's Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard face axe against Schalke.. and Fernando Torres is injured

Holdovers from Jose Mourinho's first spell as manager in danger of being dropped after shock loss to Newcastle
Moody Blue: Mourinho's roars in frustration at St James' Park
Moody Blue: Mourinho's roars in frustration at St James' Park
Getty Images
Fernando Torres is set to miss Chelsea's Champions League clash with Schalke after limping out of training.
And the Blues' boss Jose Mourinho could be ready to make other changes, with Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard in danger of missing out.
Torres pulled up with a muscle problem halfway through Monday's session at Cobham and withdrew to receive treatment.
The in-form Spanish striker is understood to have been initially concerned about the scale of the problem, which was assessed by club medics.
He is keen to stay as first choice for Mourinho's side after getting off the Premier League mark with the last-gasp winner over Manchester City a week ago, which followed his double in the reverse of this Schalke fixture last month.
But Torres is now expected to be ruled out of Wednesday's game - and could be doubtful for Saturday's home clash with West Brom and Spain's upcoming friendlies against Angola and South Africa.
What a pain: Torres could miss Schalke, West Brom and Spain's two friendlies
Charlie Crowhurst
 Torres' absence will open the door to Samuel Eto'o to stake his claim on a night that could see half as many as dozen changes from the side fiercely criticised by Mourinho after the weekend defeat at Newcastle.
Long-term Mourinho loyalists Cole and Lampard are among those sweating on their places after the boss made it clear he was "frustrated and angry" at his team's St James' Park display.
David Luiz, Juan Mata and Eden Hazard are also under threat, with Mourinho set to recall Gary Cahill, Andre Schurrle and possibly Willian and Cesar Azpilicueta.
Cole and Lampard were among Mourinho's "untouchables" during his first spell, and then-boss Andre Villas-Boas' fate was sealed after he left the pair out of the Champions League debacle at Napoli in February 2012.
Walk of shame: Cole and Chelsea trudge off after losing to Newcastle
Shaun Botterill
 Lampard, despite starting seven of the last eight games, was replaced early against both City and Newcastle.
Cole appears to be under-par since returning from the rib injury that ruled him out of England's final two World Cup qualifiers.
Mourinho promised changes in the wake of his side's second Premier League defeat of the campaign.
He knows Chelsea cannot afford a repeat of their matchday one home defeat by Basel at the hands of the counter-attacking Germans.

How Group E stands

 PWDLGFGAPts
Chelsea3201826
Schalke3201436
Basel3111334
Steaua Bucharest3012181

Check out all the latest News, Sport & Celeb gossip at Mirror.co.uk http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/chelseas-ashley-cole-frank-lampard-2676785#ixzz2jkVAS4Jw

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