Villas-Boas backs Bertrand ability

Chelsea left-back Ryan Bertrand has been backed by manager Andre Villas-Boas to fill in the gap left by the suspended Ashley Cole for today’s game with Manchester United, Sky Sports reports. Cole’s red card against Swansea in midweek means he will miss the game at Stamford Bridge and Bertrand will fill in for the defender.

The Blues will be without Cole for the first time in 65 league fixtures, which further weakens a Chelsea defence missing captain John Terry with a knee problem. Villas-Boas faces the decision of switching Jose Bosingwa from right back to left back or putting his faith in the 22 year old Bertrand. The Portuguese boss has spoken highly of Bertrand and believes that the Englishman has the quality to stop high-flying winger Antonio Valencia for United.

Villas-Boas said: ‘We have full trust in Ryan’s abilities. It’s a game of massive importance based on recent results and the fact that we have Man United, the champions, at home. Difficult decision to be made (on Saturday) when we practice strategically for the game.’

Bertrand has only played in the cup competitions this season, but has Premier League experience with the Blues and is rated highly at Stamford Bridge. Villas-Boas has another decision to make over the fitness of midfielder Frank Lampard, who has missed the last two games with a calf problem. The Blues have made their assessment and will decide whether to put the 33 year old in the starting lineup against United.

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