Sarri says Loftus-Cheek is set to play as Chelsea duo are passed fit

Ruben Loftus-Cheek is set to feature in Chelsea’s Europa League game against MOL Vidi after being passed fit along with Pedro.

Loftus-Cheek, who has not started a match under Blues boss Maurizio Sarri, would have expected to be given a chance in last week’s Carabao Cup tie at Liverpool.

He was ruled out of that game because of injury, while Pedro has been sidelined with a shoulder problem since Chelsea’s previous Europa League game, against PAOK.

But both players are now available and Sarri told a news conference on Wednesday afternoon he believes “maybe it’s time” to see Loftus-Cheek in action.

“I have to speak to Pedro. He is doing better, like Loftus. And so I think tomorrow every player is available,” Sarri said.

However, Sarri, who left star man Eden Hazard out against PAOK, said he was unsure whether youngsters Ethan Ampadu and Callum Hudson-Odoi would be involved in the match.

Asked if he plans to rest Hazard again, and whether Hudson-Odoi and Ampadu might play, Sarri said: “I don’t know. For sure not both Hazard and Odoi (will play). I don’t know at the moment.

“As I said a couple of weeks ago, to the second international break is (like) my pre-season, so I would like to see every player in this period.

“Maybe it’s time to see Loftus I think. I don’t know about Odoi at the moment.”

Loftus-Cheek, who suffered a shin injury while on England duty, impressed while on loan at Crystal Palace last season and is determined to establish himself as a first-team player at Chelsea this term.

He faces stiff competition for a place, with the likes of N’Golo Kante, Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic, Ross Barkley and Cesc Fabregas also at Sarri’s disposal.

“He was unlucky in the last three weeks. After the match with the national team he had a problem but in the last five or six days he has been better, so I think he is able to play tomorrow,” Sarri said.

The Italian will certainly make changes, with several of his players likely to be rested ahead of Sunday’s Premier League match against Southampton.

Sarri said: “Of course tomorrow we need to change some players because we have spent a lot of mental and physical energy in two matches against Liverpool and then after this match we have to play again in 62 hours.

“So I think tomorrow we need to change. But I don’t know how many players we will need to change.

“I want to see the training in the afternoon and the last training tomorrow morning.”

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