Chelsea welcome Sparta Prague to Stamford Bridge on Thursday night for the second leg of their Europa League last 32 tie.
Interim boss Rafa Benitez has been speaking at his weekly press conference ahead of the game and has given a team news update with Chelseafc.com giving the latest on Frank Lampard, Branislav Ivanovic, John Obi Mikel, Victor Moses and Demba Ba.
Chelsea are in control of the tie after last weeks 1-0 away win and with a tough away trip to Premier League champions Manchester City on Sunday, Benitez has confirmed he’ll take the opportunity to rotate his squad.
The Spaniard has been boosted by the return of Nigerian duo Victor Moses and John Obi Mikel following their exploits at the African Cup of Nations while David Luiz and John Terry have both also returned to action recently meaning Benitez has almost a fully-fit squad to choose from, with only striker Demba Ba (ineligible) and Oriol Romeu (injured) missing.
The Blues boss confirmed his newly-found squad depth means he’s able to give midfielder Lampard and defender Ivanovic the night off tomorrow as he uses his squad to full effect. Benitez told the clubs official website:
‘It’s important to be fit and train properly, and Frank will not be in the squad tomorrow as we have to manage the group and think about all the other games,’ he said.
‘Obviously Demba Ba is unavailable, but Branislav Ivanovic will also not be involved.
‘To play every game because we didn’t have the options is a problem, but at least now we will have fresh legs almost for every game.
‘We’ve played so many games, 25 in three months. We can’t train how we would like to, and then you have to carry on and play the next game.’
Now we’ve seen the team news, what would be your preferred starting eleven for Thursday’s game? Get involved in the comments section below.