Chelsea team news: AVB drops Cole and Lampard for Napoli tie
Published 17:28 21/02/12 By Martin Lipton
Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas made a huge Champions League gamble by leaving out both Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard against Napoli tonight.
Villas-Boas was rocked earlier in the day when John Terry was ruled out for up to two months after his knee problem reacted badly overnight, with the injury requiring surgery tomorrow.
But the under-fire Portuguese upped the ante even further by a major selection punt which risks snapping his relationship with Lampard in particular beyond breaking point.
It is understood Villas-Boas has decided that Cole was not fit enough to play despite training in the Stadio San Paolo yesterday, with Jose Bosingwa starting at left-back.
And the Portuguese has benched Lampard, second top scorer for the club this season, with the midfield trio likely to be Ramires, John Obi Mikel and Raul Meireles.
Lampard's omission looks like the biggest call Villas-Boas, who recalled Didier Drogba in place of misfiring Fernando Torres up front, has made all season.