Antonio Conte has confirmed that three Chelsea youth players are in line to play a part against Bournemouth in the Carabao Cup quarter-final.
The west Londoners host the Cherries on Wednesday evening and Conte has already said he will rotate his side for the fixture, with the Blues currently in the middle of a gruelling run of games.
But while many of his squad players are expected to be on the team sheet, there are also a trio of youngsters who could be involved too – even from the start.
Asked at his pre-match press conference if any of Chelsea’s academy players would be involved, Conte said:
‘They could be. Why not? I think these players are the future for Chelsea. ‘[Dujon] Sterling is a really good player. [Callum] Hudson-Odoi won the [Under-17] World Cup.
‘[Ethan] Ampadu played the last game against Everton, maybe he could start also tomorrow.
I think I must consider the young players if they deserve to have this chance. ‘I think Sterling has spent a lot of time working with us this season. Ampadu is always every day with the first team.
‘And Hudson-Odoi is another player who deserves to have a chance to show he can play for this team for 10 or 15 years.’
The likes of Willy Caballero, Kennedy and Michy Batshuayi are all expected to start when Bournemouth visit Stamford Bridge as Conte bids to progress to the semi-finals.