Chelsea manager, Maurizio Sarri has dropped Eden Hazard and David Luiz ahead of their Europa League opening game against PAOK.
The squad travelled to Greece today and left first team players, Eden Hazard, David Luiz at home including Mateo Kovacic.
The trio starred in Chelsea’s 4-1 comeback win against Cardiff City last Saturday with Kovacic time in the game cut short in the second half due to a little injury he suffered in the first half.
Meanwhile, David Luiz played the full 90 minutes and Hazard scoring a superb hat trick to inspire the comeback win before a great finish by Willian who followed the team to Greece, to make it 4-1.
‘David Luiz is in Cobham because he is playing without six months so I thought it was better for him to have rest,’ Sarri said.
‘Kovacic it is better to have rest with the little injury.
‘Hazard after the national team and the match with Cardiff he was a little bit tired. I thought it was better to have training and rest.’
Sarri refused to be drawn on whether he would start the team’s youngsters Ruben Loftus-Cheek or Calum Hudson-Odoi.
‘I don’t know about Loftus,’ he added. ‘For me he is a very good player. I don’t know if there is a spot tomorrow.
‘There is in the future. Now it is very difficult because in the first part of the season it is very important to play with a very solid team. I might change four or five players, it is impossible to change every player in the match.
‘For Odoi in his position in the last match played Pedro and Hazard. I have also played [Victor] Moses and Willian. [Ethan] Ampadu, Odoi and Loftus are the future, I don’t know if the right time tomorrow is for Odoi.’
After the game against PAOK, Chelsea will face West Ham on Sunday and have a recent disappointing record against The Hammers. They have lost two and drawn one of their last four games against them.
CHELSEA PLAYERS WHO TRAVELLED TO GREECE:
Kepa Arrizabalaga, Willy Caballero, Marcin Bulka, Toni Rudiger, Marcos Alonso, Cesc Fabregas, Jorginho, N’Golo Kante, Ross Barkley, Pedro, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Victor Moses, Olivier Giroud, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Davide Zappacosta, Willian, Gary Cahill, Andreas Christensen, Cesar Azpilicueta, Alvaro Morata, Ethan Ampadu.