Premiership: Reading v. Chelsea

Seventeen Chelsea players were on international duty during the week and Jose Mourinho is likely to rest one or two as he prepares for Wednesday’s Champions League group game against Barcelona.

Ashley Cole returned from England’s Euro 2008 qualifying debacle with an ankle injury which rules him out, while Michael Ballack will complete a three-match ban. Joe Cole came through 90 minutes of a behind-closed-doors friendly in midweek and is available for selection.

Andriy Shevchenko recovered from a virus in time to play for Ukraine and scored a 90th minute penalty as they defeated Scotland 2-0. Mourinho travelled to Kiev to watch Shevchenko play.

“I went to see Ukraine against Scotland, or to be more accurate, to see Sheva. I was there to bring him back after the game and to give him some support like I do with everybody else … Sheva played a good game and scored a goal so he comes back with some happiness,” Mourinho told Chelsea TV.

Reading have doubts over skipper Graeme Murty and striker Kevin Doyle. Neither were able to play for their respective international sides during the week.

The Royals will be defending a 14-month unbeaten record at the Madejski Stadium. Their last home game ended 1-1 when Manchester United came from a goal down to earn a point.

Chelsea will be playing the Royals for the first time since winning a fourth round League Cup tie 1-0 in December 2003, when Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink scored the winner.