Chelsea Injury update: Defender returns but Midfielder out against Barcelona

Chelsea will welcome back Marcos Alonso to face Barcelona — but Tiemoue Bakayoko will miss Tuesday’s Champions League last-16 first leg.

Alonso has been struggling with a hamstring injury and ankle knock, missing Chelsea’s last two games, but is ready to return in midweek.

Summer signing Bakayoko is less lucky, with manager Antonio Conte revealing he is likely to be absent on Tuesday night.

Asked about Alonso’s availability for Tuesday, night, Conte said: ‘Yes. He will be fit. I don’t think Bakayoko (will be). Alonso is ready to play.’

Conte looks set to revert to a 3-5-2 formation against the Spanish league leaders, with Alvaro Morata and Eden Hazard leading the line.

That is despite Olivier Giroud, Pedro and Willian all scoring in Friday night’s FA Cup fifth-round win over Hull City.

Chelsea’s Italian boss says he now faces something of a selection dilemma after his second string starred at Stamford Bridge.

‘I’m very happy,’ Conte said. ‘Before an important game, against Barcelona, I go to my house with many doubts in my mind, [about] which is the best starting XI to start the game.

‘But it’s right to be so. We must take the right time to make the best decision to pick the best XI to start that game.’

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