Chelsea boss Di Matteo backs Terry to put controversy aside in Champions League

John Terry is expected to both start for and captain Chelsea in the Champions League against Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday, with manager Roberto Di Matteo confident the former England international will not be distracted by the furore that still surrounds him, the Daily Telegraph has reported.

Terry is in the middle of a domestic ban imposed by the Football Association after Terry was found to have used racist language towards Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand. Terry was cleared of a criminal offence but charged and sanctioned by the FA, receiving a four-game ban and fine of more than £200,000. Chelsea also issued their own internal discipline which remains confidential, but does not include stripping Terry of his role as captain.

With Terry serving the first game of his suspension against Tottenham Hotspur, Di Matteo turned to Gary Cahill and David Luiz in the centre of defence but one of the pair will miss the match in Ukraine as Terry returns to the side, with the Telegraph claiming Cahill is the most likely candidate.

Di Matteo insists he has no qualms over selecting Terry, who played half of a specially arranged friendly with Arsenal over the international break in order to maintain his fitness. The manager said: “I’ve never been concerned about picking him. He’s been able to focus on the games and that’s what the players love to do, playing football and it’s good for them that they can focus on that.

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