Drogba boost for Chelsea as striker wins fitness fight to face Barcelona
15:15 GMT, 23 April 2012
Didier Drogba travelled with Chelsea for their Champions League semi-final second leg at Barcelona.
The striker looks set to be fit for Tuesday night's do-or-die clash at the Nou Camp after missing Saturday's Barclays Premier League game at Arsenal with a knee injury.
Reports suggested Drogba trained on Sunday, handing Chelsea a massive boost ahead of their biggest match of the season.
Breakthrough: Didier Drogba scored Chelsea's winner against Barcelona at Stamford Bridge last week
The 34-year-old scored the winner in Wednesday's first leg with the Blues' only shot on target. He also made a huge contribution in what was a smash-and-grab 1-0 victory, although his theatrical reaction to some of the challenges made on him did not go down well with Barca or many of those who watched the match.
Fernando Torres had another game to forget at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, making it even more imperative Drogba is passed fit.
Caretaker manager Roberto Di Matteo is expected to provide a full update on the Ivory Coast star's fitness at his pre-match press conference this evening.
Comeback: Gerard Pique is set to return to the starting XI for Barcelona
Defender David Luiz also travelled to Spain today in what was a 25-man party, even though he is expected to miss the game with a hamstring injury.
Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola will turn to Gerard Pique in an attempt to keep Drogba quiet.
Pique has missed the last five games after falling out with Guardiola and has also been struggling with a calf injury.
Testing times: Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola has lost to Chelsea and Real Madrid in his last two games
Barca lost to Real Madrid at the weekend and trail their fierce rivals by seven points in La Liga. A third straight defeat is unthinkable for the Catalan giants and Pique, who has also been struggling with a calf injury in recent weeks, will return in an attempt to tighten things up at the back.
And Guardiola is confident his players can come through their toughest test of the season.
He said: 'I don't think we are spent physically. Now we have to play our best game possible. These players have been in many situations like this one and they have always risen to the occasion.'