CHELSEA TEAM NEWS: Eden Hazard has surprisingly been named in the squad to face BATE Borisov tomorrow evening in the Europa League.
The Belgian has missed the last three starting XIs through a back injury sustained against Manchester United last month.
However, he made his comeback against Crystal Palace at the weekend – making an instant impact with an assist for Alvaro Morata.
And though he may be fit, his inclusion in the squad for the match in Minsk will come as a surprise to many fans.
Chelsea are all but through in their Europa League group after wins over Vidi, PAOK and BATE.
A point is all that is needed to confirm their progression and many fans will be hoping to see the likes of Callum Hudson-Odoi, Ethan Ampadu and Ruben Loftus-Cheek get minutes.
Widespread reports suggested Maurizio Sarri had no intention of using Hazard but pictures emerged of the 27-year-old boarding the team plane to Belarus.
The Blues face Everton at Stamford Bridge on Sunday and the Italian coach will be anxious to leave the Eastern European country with a fully-fit squad.
Sarri said: “From our doctor there is no risk. Otherwise he stays at Cobham.
“In the last match he played 30 minutes, the best for tomorrow is that he plays 45 to 50 minutes.”
Asked about Hazard’s fitness prior to Chelsea’s 3-1 win over Palace, the former Napoli boss told Sky Sports: “I spoke with the doctor yesterday and he said he is doing better but he’s not ready to play for 90 minutes.
“So we decided altogether for the bench.
“I think it’s very important for us to have him on the bench for the last 30-35 minutes, if necessary.”
One star expected to return to first-team action is Olivier Giroud, who missed matches against Derby and Palace with a leg injury.
The Frenchman will take Morata’s place – who has seen a revival in form after scoring three goals in three games.
Giroud, on the other hand, has yet to get off the mark this season but has been described by Hazard as the “best target man in the world”.