How Chelsea could line up this weekend as Loftus-Cheek ruled out but Morata returns

By | 11th January 2019

CHELSEA striker Alvaro Morata is back in training, but Maurizio Sarri might overlook him for Saturday’s clash with Newcastle amid speculations over the Spaniard’s future.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek is unavailable after he was hauled off the pitch with a back injury in the Blues’ 2-0 victory over Nottingham Forest last week.

How Chelsea could line up against Newcastle

Morata missed the Carabao Cup semi-final loss to Spurs after he picked up a hamstring injury in training.

But Sarri revealed the Spanish striker could be available to play against Newcastle this weekend.

The Italian coach, however, might prefer not to rush Morata’s return as he confirmed the Spaniard can still leave Stamford Bridge in January.

Barcelona and Sevilla are reportedly interested in loaning the striker, with Chelsea looking to sign Gonzalo Higuain.

Maurizio Sarri confirmed Alvaro Morata could be available for Saturday’s clash with Newcastle
PA:Press Association

But Sarri revealed that Loftus-Cheek, whose back injury flared up again in the match against Forest, will definitely not be available to face the Toon Army.

The 22-year-old midfielder started the FA Cup clash but had to be replaced by Eden Hazard minutes before half-time.

Sarri said: “Of course Loftus-Cheek is out at the moment.

“Then yesterday Alvaro trained with his team-mates. We have to see the last training session today. I hope he will be able to play.

However, Ruben Loftus-Cheek will miss the Newcastle match with a back injury that flared up against Nottingham Forest last week

“If Morata goes to another club we need a replacement. At the moment Morata is here, so he has to think only about playing.”

Sarri might then opt to start Hazard in a ‘false nine’ position again, similarly to the Blues’ 2-1 victory over Watford, and the Carabao Cup 1-0 loss to Spurs.

The Belgian’s place on the wing could be taken by Willian, who was also linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge.

But the Italian boss ruled out the Brazilian‘s exit and highlighted his importance to the team, also urging his winger to be more prolific in front of the goal.

Sarri also ruled out Willian’s exit in January, calling the Brazilian a “very important” player

He said: “Of course I don’t want to lose him. Willian is very important for us so I think it’s impossible to lose him in January.

“He can do better because the potential is high. Usually he wants the ball to his feet.

“He can improve on his movements without the ball, and he has the potential to score more.”

Sarri also laid into Bayern Munich for openly talking about their interest in the Blues’ youngster Callum Hudson-Odoi.

He added: “I think it’s not professional. They are talking about a player under contract with Chelsea. They didn’t respect our club.”

This post written by Damian Burchardt originally appeared on Football news - transfers, fixtures, scores, pictures | The Sun. Read the full post here.

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