Ross Barkley is set to play his first game for Chelsea tomorrow (Thursday) in a friendly match at Cobham against QPR.
The 24-year-old was scheduled to make his debut for the Blues tonight in the FA Cup third round replay with Norwich City at Stamford Bridge, however due to him signing after the cut off point ahead of the original tie, he is illegible to play in the replay.
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte stated yesterday that the club were planning to arrange a friendly for him to get in some match fitness ahead of their Premier League clash with Brighton & Hove Albion.
And Barkley will play in a behind-closed-doors match at the club’s training ground in order to prove his fitness and see if he has recovered from the hamstring injury that has not allowed him to play a minute of competitive football this season.
“Carlo informed me about this new situation,” Conte said yesterday. “Two days ago I was sure Barkley could play against Norwich, to play a part of the game.
“To start, I think this could be… to take a stupid risk is no good. To play a part of the game and go slowly, to be ready to start the game.
“We are preparing a friendly game for him during this week, and then we will see his physical condition. But I’m very happy for his commitment and physical condition. He could be ready for the next game, or for the next game.”