ESSIEN WANTS TO START

Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien is one of the players looking to start the match against Bayern Munich in the Champions League final. Chelsea will be playing in their second Champions League final on May 19 looking to win the competition for the first time. They lost their last match against Manchester United back in 2008 on penalties.

Michael Essien started the match back then, but he has been a shadow of the same player in the recent seasons. A number of knee injuries has meant that he has lost the driving force in the midfield. As a result, he has started less than 20 matches this season.

However, he seems to be finally overcoming the problems that he has faced in the last two seasons and slowly seems to be coming back to his best. The 29-year-old Ghanaian midfielder was regarded as one of the greatest in the world, but his performances of late have been the other way around. Michael Essien, though, started the match against Blackburn Rovers on the final day of the Premier league season. He was extremely impressive in the defensive midfield position for Chelsea. It has led to speculation that he might even start the Champions League final.

Due to the suspensions of both John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic, David Luiz and Gary Cahill remain the two proper centre backs for Chelsea. However, they are also struggling with hamstring injuries suffered in the matches against Tottenham and Barcelona respectively.

Due to the fact that they are major doubt to make it to the final, Chelsea interim manager Roberto di Matteo may actually field midfielder John obi Mikel in the centre back position alongside José Bosingwa. This would mean that Michael Essien could return to his favourite defensive midfield position in the biggest match for Chelsea this season so far.

ESSIEN OUT UNTIL JANUARY

Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has revealed that it will not be until January that we get to see Chelsea's star midfielder Michael Essien back in action.

Michael Essien has been ruled out with an injury for quite some time now, but many were hoping that he will be returning to action in December. However, it has had not happened up until now, as Michael Essien does not seem to have made the sufficient regeneration from the injury. Now, the Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has said that he may get to see Michael Essien only after a month. This will also crucially ruled him out of the African cup of nations.

Chelsea are set to lose a number of stars due to the African cup of nations, but Michael Essien will not be one who will travel to the African continent to play in this tournament. Michael Essien has been troubled by a number of knee injuries in recent seasons. He injured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in the summer, which has kept him out of the side throughout the season. Many were hoping that his return would be the perfect answer for Chelsea's midfield problems as of now, but it seems that Chelsea fans need to wait a little longer.

John obi Mikel has failed to deliver the promise, while Romeu – signed from Barcelona this summer – still lacks experience. In such a situation, the presence of Michael Essien would have seriously strengthened the Chelsea defence, but as it is, manager Villas-Boas has to do with out on the influential Ghanaian during the Christmas fixture list.

"We're looking at mid-January, that's the best we can think about. There was a setback at the beginning of December if I'm not wrong which took him back 10 days and that's extended into January, so I don't think he will go to the African Cup of Nations," said Villas-Boas.

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