Chelsea FC without five key players for Valencia clash

Chelsea FC are expected to be without five first-team stars ahead of the Champions League clash against Valencia at the Mestalla.

The Blues have named a 19-man squad for the Los Che encounter and there has been one surprise exclusion in the form of Marcos Alonso.

Other than this, the remaining absentees are injury or fitness related but two of those players could return to action in the coming weeks.

Both Antonio Rudiger and Ross Barkley have returned to training after their groin and ankle concerns respectively but they have been deemed unfit for the midweek clash due to their lesser fitness levels.

Meanwhile, Callum Hudson-Odoi has yet to return to training after his hamstring problem on international duty while Ruben Loftus-Cheek remains under rehabilitation.

Loftus-Cheek was initially fancied to return from his serious Achilles problem in December but Lampard has recently stated that there is no suitable comeback date for the midfielder.

Chelsea are presently tied on seven points with Ajax and Valencia in their Champions League group but they are placed third in the standings on the head-to-head record.

A victory against Valencia will keep their qualification destiny in their own hands. Otherwise, they will need to depend on the other results to go their way to make the round of 16 stage.

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