Crisis, what crisis?

Last updated : 27 December 2007 By Paul Lagan
Chelsea will be down to their bare defensive bones for the clash with Newcastle on Saturday.

With John Terry out for another month, the dynamic centre-back pairing of Tal Ben-Haim and Alex will be called upon to kick start Chelsea into the New Year.
Ricardo Carvalho's two-footed lunge on Gabriel Agbonlahor deserved a date in court for GBH rather than a three-match suspension for a straight red card he recieved.
With Ashley Cole waiting to hear his red card appeal - he too could be missing for the Magpies match.
Wayne Bridge will step in.
At right back the position is clearer - both Juliano Belletti and Paulo Ferreira are fit and raring to play.

Belletti said: "I like to play. Every football player likes to play football, but it is necessary some days to rest. This year we have a lot of players and it's very important in this moment. We have many injuries, including John Terry and Didier Drogba, but Avram still has a lot of players to choose from.'"

Of his competition for the right back spot with Ferreira, Belletti adds: "We get on well. Never in my life when I compete for a position have I had problems with another. At Barcelona, I was up against Gianluca Zambrotta, no no, never. It's a friendly rivalry, it's normal.
"It's different. When I came to Chelsea, Mourinho asked me to come here, and he trusted me a lot. We were talking when I came and he said: "You're easy, you play here, I trust you, close your eyes and you play well, I know this." The trust is important for a player, and I have trust in myself."

In midfield, Chelsea could be without Frank Lampard who limped off the Villa thriller with a thigh injury.
Claude makele is still out following an ear operation. But Michael Ballack could prove to be a more than valuable replacement.
Up front, well Didier Drogba is still out but Andriy Shevchenko has started to play well and score goals too.