Blues waiting on skipper
Chelsea boss ready to play Terry in Italy
By Graeme Bailey - Tweet me: @skygraemebailey. Last Updated: February 20, 2012 3:38pm
John Terry: Looks set to feature in Napoli
Andre Villas-Boas will give captain John Terry every chance to play against Napoli in their UEFA Champions League last 16 clash in Italy on Tuesday.
Terry has not played for nearly a month, missing Chelsea's last four games, due to a persistent knee problem.
With pressure growing on Villas-Boas's own position, he is set to take a gamble on Terry and ask him to play in Naples after previously admitting he was only '50-50' to make the match.
"John is a player of great importance. I will leave it as late as possible and make a decision after training in Naples," he said.
"JT is a great leader. He gives you an extra emotional push but, at the moment, we've had to do without him.
"If he misses out, then we will miss a top player who gives us great defensive stability. It would be a massive loss."
Villas-Boas admits he is fully aware of the importance of their game with Napoli and he realises the task ahead of Chelsea.
"If you go past Napoli then you can have a really good chance, depending on who you get in the draw - if you get a good draw," Villas-Boas said.
"It will be a massive challenge. Everyone saw what Napoli did in a group which put another English team out.
"The Champions League is a competition that everyone wants to win. The players will feel much more tension and feel it much more.
"There are two weeks between the games and it's important for us to be competent and to bring the game to Stamford Bridge with a win or a draw, ideally a scoring draw. Then we can finish the business here."
He admits it will not be easy against a Napoli side led by the outstanding Edinson Cavani.
"He is an amazing player and is their main man. But they have a strong front three with Hamsik, Cavani and Lavezzi. They are all a danger," he said.
"But, to be fair, their strength is in the collective spirit. They have an inner belief in each other."