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Joe Cole ready for Chelsea return

Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole is set for a return after eight months out with a knee injury. The England international will suit up for the Blues in the Carling Cup on Wednesday night against QPR and is hoping to slot straight into Carlo Ancelotti's midfield diamond.

Assistant manager Ray Wilkins confirmed that Cole was looking to get straight back into it as Chelsea look to continue their brilliant beginning to the season.

"Joe calls it the sausage roll, in the hole," said Wilkins. "That's Joe, he even asked if he could play in the sausage roll when we said he'd be starting and it's nice to see he's bubbling and firing about it.

"I think Joe understands we're not playing with wide players at the moment but with people inside and he's thrilled to be involved after such a long time out.

"After the reconstruction he's gone through, his knee is far better prepared for football now and he's much stronger. Yes, he'll be a bit ring-rusty and there were times when even he was down mentally.

"Joe offers that bit of fantasy, something different that can give us the edge in games. He can go both sides, plays a pass, and his work ethic is quite special.

"The other thing is that the World Cup is a lovely carrot for him. He can provide something, most certainly, and a fully fit Joe Cole will be very much around the England squad."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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