Blues pair could feature
John Terry and Ashley Cole look set to overcome ankle injuries and feature in Chelsea's highly-charged west London derby against QPR this weekend.
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The defenders picked up the knocks on international duty with England, forcing them to miss the 1-1 draw with Ukraine at Wembley in midweek.
Cole also missed the 5-0 thrashing of Moldova but both he and Terry trained at Chelsea's Cobham training ground today and are in-line to feature at Loftus Road on Saturday.
The duo's inclusion is likely to heighten the tension and intrigue surrounding the Barclays Premier League clash with near neighbours QPR.
This weekend's encounter is the first meeting between the clubs since Terry was found not guilty of using a racial slur against the Hoops' Anton Ferdinand in the corresponding fixture last October.
Terry remains the subject of a Football Association investigation over the charges that he denies, while left-back Cole was a character witness for Terry in the trial.
With both likely to return for the Blues and Ferdinand recovering well after a shoulder injury, there has been speculation as to whether Ferdinand would shake some of his Chelsea counterparts' hands.
That tradition was abandoned in advance of the previous two encounters between the clubs, although, regardless of the tension, the Premier League has no plans to cancel the pre-match handshakes this time.
Press Association Sport understands the body expect them to go ahead and that QPR and Chelsea are in talks about how to approach Saturday's fixture.
An announcement on the matter is expected before Mark Hughes' pre-match press conference on Friday afternoon and follows warnings made by both club's on Thursday.
QPR published a warning on its official website, www.qpr.co.uk, on Thursday morning under the title 'Your Behaviour: A Reminder'.
Chelsea posted their own statement called 'The Right Rivalry' in which the club urged supporters to conduct themselves properly.
"Last January's FA Cup match at QPR and the meeting between the sides in April at Stamford Bridge were good examples of passionate and vocal rivalry with the fans of both clubs recognising that abuse and discrimination have no place in a football stadium, nor anywhere else in society," read the post on the club's official website, www.chelseafc.com.
"Chelsea Football Club wishes to see the level of respect at those games continued throughout this campaign, as it has been in our opening matches.
"Both Chelsea and QPR will work together with the police to ensure that anyone using discriminatory or inflammatory language on Saturday is identified, and that the strongest possible action is taken against them."
On the field, QPR will be hoping to repeat the feat of their famous 1-0 victory over the Blues in W12 less than a year ago.
The hosts' chances will be boosted by the news that Juan Mata will almost certainly miss the clash.
The midfielder scored the decisive goal in January's FA Cup tie and has been given some additional time off after not being called up by the Spanish national team.