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Thursday 23 November 2017

Fuse is lit at QPR for explosive Chelsea tie

CHELSEA will return from a week's warm-weather training in Spain to what is expected to be a sizzling atmosphere when they make the short trip to QPR for tomorrow's FA Cup fourth-round tie.

Local police issued a statement saying they are working with both clubs to "deal appropriately with offensive or discriminatory behaviour" as the teams prepare to meet for the first time since a controversial clash in October.

Chelsea captain John Terry has been charged with racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand during that game and will appear in court next Wednesday. He has denied any wrongdoing.

The match has also been brought forward to a midday kick-off on the advice of police to minimise potential crowd problems.

Bruce Buck, chairman of Chelsea, and Tony Fernandes, his QPR counterpart, released a joint statement earlier this week to show a united front ahead of the tie and asked for the game to be a "celebration of football".

Chelsea have made good use of their time away, with new signing Gary Cahill feeling the visit to Majorca was a good chance for the squad to bond.

Cahill (pictured) completed a £7million switch from Bolton on January 16, but was not included in the squad for the Premier League goalless draw at Norwich.

The England defender, 26, said: "Training (out here) has been really good and it has been enjoyable to get to know the lads -- I know everyone a lot better now. The trip has definitely helped me."

Frank Lampard has been doing some rehabilitation work after suffering a torn calf muscle at Carrow Road last weekend, but is not expected to be included against QPR.

Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas, meanwhile, looks to be closing in on Genk's Belgian youngster Kevin De Bruyne, while Shakhtar Donetsk winger Willian has talked up his hopes of moving to London, a potential deal which the Blues boss had played down last week.

Defender Alex, meanwhile, looks set to join Paris St Germain.

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