Chelsea defender Marcos Alonso and midfielder Ross Barkley, on Monday, took part in a training session after having missed the past three matches, while David Luiz and Tiemoue Bakayoko were absent in the run-up to the Champions League game against Barcelona.
Chelsea are set to host Barcelona on Tuesday in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 at Stamford Bridge tonight. Alonso, who suffered a muscle injury and has not played since January 31, exercised normally on Monday. Although defender Emerson Palmieri, who was signed in January, shone during his debut on Friday in Chelsea’s 4-0 win over Hull City in the FA Cup, coach Antonio Conte has reiterated the importance of Alonso for the team.
“Having missed our last couple of games, David Luiz didn’t train,” the Chelsea boss added. “Tiemoue Bakayoko, who was unavailable for Friday’s FA Cup win over Hull City, was also absent from the session.”
Training is underway at a very wet Cobham this morning! ?? pic.twitter.com/VcvQrjkY9W
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) February 19, 2018
Midfielder Ross Barkley also exercised normally, although he had not been able to participate as expected in recent weeks due to a recurring muscle injury. Both midfielder Bakayoko, who has been sidelined since his side’s 4-1 defeat against Watford on February 5, and defender Luiz did not train. The group training also included two players from the youth squad: defender Trevoh Chalobah and forward Callum Hudson-Odoi.
Furthermore, the likes of Eden Hazard, N’Golo Kante, Cesar Azpilicueta, Victor Moses and Thibaut Courtois – who all missed the Hull City fixture – are expected to return to the first team action. And so as far as Barcelona are concerned, the Catalans will surely be without the services of winter signing Philippe Coutinho as he is already cup-tied with Liverpool. Furthermore, full-back Nelson Semedo is suspended for the game, while although Thomas Vermaelen has traveled to London, he is unexpected to feature due to his hamstring injury.