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Page last updated at 08:09 GMT, Monday, 14 April 2008 09:09 UK

Chelsea ready to risk keeper Cech

Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech
Cech could don a chin guard to go with the scrum cap he wears

Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech may play in Monday's crucial match against Wigan with the Blues desperate for three points to keep their title hopes alive.

Cech had 50 stitches and underwent facial surgery after a training-ground collision with Tal Ben-Haim last week and could wear a chin guard.

"We are testing a mask," said manager Avram Grant. "For now it's a risk."

Cech has trained with and without the mask and Grant is awaiting a medical decision on whether to play him.

Cech's normal understudy Carlo Cudicini has a hamstring injury that could rule him out for the rest of the season so third-choice Hilario will play if the Czech keeper is not risked.

Chelsea are six points behind Premier League leaders Manchester United but could draw level if they win their next two games, against Wigan at Stamford Bridge, and then on Thursday at Everton.

606: DEBATE

United next play at Blackburn on Saturday before the two clubs meet at Stamford Bridge on 26 April.

And Grant insists that Chelsea can still win the league if they triumph in their five remaining fixtures.

"If we win every game I think we will win the title," he said.

"But it's not easy to win all the games. I said a week ago I didn't believe Man United and Arsenal would do it, it's not easy.

"I can't say we are the best in England but I don't think there is a team stronger than us.

"The players know it's a big opportunity and if I may say so, we deserve it after what we had this year."

Cech already wears a helmet to protect the skull he fractured in 2006 after a clash with Stephen Hunt, and is likely to wear the chin guard until his stitches are removed.


see also
Chelsea v Wigan
11 Apr 08 |  Premier League
Chelsea suffer Cudicini setback
09 Apr 08 |  Chelsea
Cech has surgery after accident
07 Apr 08 |  Chelsea
Keeper Cech has surgery on skull
15 Oct 06 |  Chelsea
Chelsea v Fenerbahce (agg 1-2)
07 Apr 08 |  Europe
Fenerbahce 2-1 Chelsea
02 Apr 08 |  Europe
Alan Hansen's column
07 Apr 08 |  Football


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