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09.03.2009 Football News

Chelsea ponder over Essien start

By Ghana FA
Chelsea ponder over Essien start

Michael Essien's return from injury has given Chelsea more options to choose from as the Blues prepare for their UEFA Champions League tie at Juventus but Guus Hiddink is still mulling about selecting the Ghanaian for the Turin clash.

Essien, back after a six month layoff with a knee injury improved his chances of playing a role against the Italian side after making his first-team comeback against Coventry City in the FA Cup on Saturday.

The Ghanaian midfielder played the final half-hour of the 2-0 quarter-final success and is pushing for a start against Juventus on Tuesday.

Despite the Ghana international's availability, Guus Hiddink is weighing up the merits of starting with Michael Essien against Juventus with Chelsea leading 1-0 from the first leg at Stamford Bridge.

Hiddink admits Essien will come into his thoughts for a starting role in the second leg of the last 16 encounter in Italy is wary about taking too many risks with the midfielder.

"Michael did a very good job after his very heavy injury," said Hiddink.

"He is fit, but there is a difference to be game fit. I have time to think if we start with him [on Tuesday] and see how he reacts."