Ferdinand not affected by Terry racism row: Hughes
Chelsea have plenty of reasons to want to avoid a repeat of their last trip to neighbours Queens Park Rangers when they return to Loftus Road today in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
The 1-0 defeat they suffered there on October 23 last year was a blow to their hopes of winning the Premier League and Andre Villas-Boas' side, who are currently in fourth place, finished the game with nine men following red cards to Didier Drogba and Jose Bosingwa.
Two hot: QPR's Anton Ferdinand & Chelsea's John Terry
The headlines were generated by captain John Terry however, after it was alleged he had racially abused Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand. Terry denied it leading to a police investigation and a court case that begins in London next week. Terry and Ferdinand are both in line to start for their respective clubs, with Ferdinand reportedly mulling whether he should shake Terry's hand before kick-off.
Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck and Rangers owner Tony Fernandes tried to calm the pre-match situation by issuing a joint statement.
It read: "Discrimination has no place in football or society. We would remind fans that, while we want to hear their passion, hatred and abuse is not what being a fan of QPR or Chelsea is about. The clubs will work together with the police to ensure that anyone using discriminatory or inflammatory language is identified and that the strongest possible action is taken against them."
Rangers manager Mark Hughes was confident Ferdinand, younger brother of Man U ace Rio Ferdinand, would be unfazed by the furore. "He has not come to me and said 'Gaffer, I need to speak about this situation' so I don't think it has affected him at all to be perfectly honest," Hughes said.