Deco out for mentally drained Blues

Chelsea midfielder Deco has been ruled out of the Blues' FA Cup semi-final clash with Arsenal at Wembley on Saturday. The Portuguese playmaker returned as a 66th minute substitute for Frank Lampard in the 4-3 win against Bolton having missed almost a month through injury.

But he has now sustained a hamstring problem in training, while fellow countryman Jose Bosingwa will also miss out against the Gunners with a similar complaint.

“Bosingwa has been training but is not ready to play," said Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink.

"And then as Deco left training yesterday he felt pain. Scans were made and it was a small damage in his hamstring. So he’s out.” The Dutchman has admitted that his Chelsea side are physically and mentally drained from their midweek eight-goal Champions League epic against Liverpool, but insists the Blues will go all out for victory against Arsenal to seal a place in the FA Cup final.

“In several countries the cup competition is not that important but England is a beautiful exception," he said.

"It’s very important, I know that from being in the middle of it and also from the past following English football from a distance.

“It was those Saturday afternoons watching the semi-final and final which was very exciting from abroad.

“Being now in the semi-final against Arsenal is a huge game for us. Everyone knows Arsenal are in good shape and it’s nice to watch their team. It will be an unpredictable clash.”

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