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Build-up bulletin

All the latest news from the Chelsea camp

There are only days to go until the ultimate highlight of the 2011/12 campaign, Bayern’s meeting with Chelsea in the Champions League final. Kick-off is at 8.45 pm CET on Saturday 19 May at Munich’s very own Allianz Arena. But what’s the latest from London as coach Roberto Di Matteo and his men gear up for the game?Join in the countdown with our daily bulletin reporting the latest news from the Blues.

Thursday 17 May
+ + + Blues complete final workout in England + + +

On Thursday afternoon, the Chelsea squad trained for the last time on home soil ahead of Saturday’s final. For the session at the club facility in Cobham, a town some 20 kilometres to the south-west of London, coach Di Matteo again supervised centre-backs David Luiz and Gary Cahill, both recovering from injury but able to take part in the full squad session for the third day in a row. By contrast, Florent Malouda (hamstring) completed an individual workout. The Blues will set off for Munich on Friday morning, with the official pre-match press conference and final training session at the Allianz Arena scheduled for the evening.

Wednesday 16 May:
+ + + Four Chelsea stars in England squad for EURO + + +

New England boss Roy Hodgson has named four Chelsea players in his squad for EURO 2012. Ashley Cole, Gary Cahill, Frank Lampard and the surprise choice of John Terry all made the cut when the squad was announced on Wednesday, with Terry preferred to Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand. Terry is a controversial pick after allegedly insulting Ferdinand's brother Anton, an incident which cost Terry the England captaincy, and which comes to court on 9 July. The English press and fans were waiting with bated breath to see how Hodgson, Fabio Capello’s successor, dealt with the situation.

+ + + Cahill and Luiz resume training + + +
Chelsea centre-backs Gary Cahill and David Luiz are in a race against time to recover from hamstring injuries, with Cahill sidelined for three weeks and Luiz for more than four. Both resumed the team training programme on Tuesday and came through unscathed. “It was wonderful to be back out on the pitch. We still have a few sessions until Saturday, and I'll give everything to be part of it," Cahill said after the workout.

Luiz was just as delighted with his return to work. “I'm so pleased," the Brazilian said, “I made it through the whole training session and completed all the exercises." He is now counting down the days until Saturday's big match. “Every player in the world wants to feature in a match like this," he enthused. The pair may yet make the starting line-up, but there must still be questions about their fitness levels after such long layoffs.

Tuesday 15 May:
+ + + Chelsea start preparations for final + + +

FA Cup winners Chelsea have begun preparations for Saturday's Champions League showdown. Two days after a 2–1 victory over Blackburn in the final Premier League fixture of the season, and following a rest day on Monday, the Blues squad returned to the Cobham training ground on Tuesday. Injury doubts Gary Cahill and David Luiz were both present. “Gary and David are going to give it a go and train with the team today," confirmed boss di Matteo.

Chelsea have also announced outline plans for a victory parade should they beat Bayern on Saturday. The parade through the Chelsea and Fulham districts would begin at 4pm on Sunday from the west entrance to Stamford Bridge, and would wind its way up the Kings Road. In the event of defeat, the Blues will refrain from staging a parade, despite winning the FA Cup a couple of weeks ago.

Monday 14 May:
+ + + Injured trio making progress + + +

Five days before the final in Munich, the Chelsea squad took a rest day on Monday, but the London club’s medical staff were working overtime. Their efforts are directed at helping centre-backs Gary Cahill and David Luiz recover from stubborn hamstring injuries. “They're both doing better every day," Di Matteo reported, although the Chelsea coach also said decisions regarding the pair's fitness would most likely be left until the last minute. France midfielder Florent Malouda is also receiving treatment after hobbling out of Chelsea's 2–1 victory over Blackburn in the last match of the Premier League season shortly before half-time. “I hope he'll be fit again in a couple of days," Di Matteo commented.

Sunday 13 May:
+ + + Successful dress rehearsal for Blues + + +

Chelsea have won their final competitive match prior to the Champions League final. In the last Premier League match of the 2011/12 campaign, the Blues defeated already-relegated Blackburn Rovers 2–1. The 40,742 crowd at Stamford Bridge saw the home side miss a string of presentable opportunities, with only John Terry (31) and Raul Meireles (34) finding the target. Yakubu pulled one back for the visitors on the hour. Chelsea were condemned to a sixth-place finish even before kick-off, meaning the west London side will only appear in next season's Champions League if they beat Munich this coming Saturday and win the current competition. Sunday's line-up included all four Chelsea man suspended for the final (Terry, Ramires, Ivanovic and Raul Meireles), with Di Matteo opting to rest Petr Cech, Didier Drogba, Ashley Cole and Fernando Torres.