November 17, 2012
Olsson opposed sacking of Di Matteo
Team Stat Comparison
|West Bromwich Albion||Chelsea|
|Goals for *||1.5||1.8|
|Goals against *||1.0||1.2|
|Last 5 home||D-L-D-L-W||W-D-W-W-W|
|Last 5 away||L-L-W-L-D||W-W-D-W-L|
|* Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club|
|Stats: West Bromwich Albion | Chelsea|
West Brom defender Jonas Olsson admits he was not in favour of the sacking of Roberto Di Matteo as manager ahead of Saturday's meeting with his current club Chelsea.
But the Sweden international concedes that Albion and the Blues have both enjoyed success in the 21 months since Di Matteo left the Hawthorns.
Di Matteo has led Chelsea to Champions League and FA Cup glory while the Baggies have become established in the Barclays Premier League under Roy Hodgson and now former Chelsea coach Steve Clarke.
Olsson, part of the Swedish side which defeated England in mid-week, told Press Association Sport: "I rate Roberto Di Matteo very highly.
"I was very clear when the club sacked him that I wasn't (in favour of it). I really enjoyed working with him.
"He is a good coach and I really connected with him as a person as well. But everything happens for a reason I guess and, for him, it turned out very good and, for us, it turned out well.
"We got Roy Hodgson as manager and really pushed on from there and Roberto went to Chelsea and had a fantastic career there.
"It will be good to see him but, when it is game time, we will be looking to keep going and keep doing what we've been doing this season.''
Goalkeeper Boaz Myhill will again deputise for Ben Foster, who is recovering from groin surgery.
Albion are sweating over the fitness of defender Gareth McAuley, who suffered a hamstring injury playing for Northern Ireland against Azerbaijan, with Gabriel Tamas on stand-by to deputise.
But they are more hopeful midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu will be fit after a hamstring injury led to him withdrawing from midweek action with Congo.
On-loan Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku is ineligible to face his parent club.
The Blues received a boost on Friday when Di Matteo announced defender John Terry would only be out for "approximately three weeks''.
The European champions allayed fears their captain had suffered a serious knee injury in Sunday's Barclays Premier League draw with Liverpool when they confirmed on Monday he would be out for weeks rather than months.
And with Chelsea having further assessed Terry over the past four days, Di Matteo had even better news to report.
"With JT, we're looking at approximately three weeks,'' he said.
"Fortunately, it's not as bad as we first thought.''
Ashley Cole could return after missing the last two matches with a hamstring injury.
John Terry (knee) will be out for around three weeks, the game comes too soon for Frank Lampard (calf).