Chelsea attacking midfielder Ross Barkley was a surprise omission from the squad to face Fulham yesterday afternoon.
The England international played the full 90 minutes in the 4-0 win over PAOK Salonika on Thursday night but was not even included on the bench against the Cottagers.
On the Blues’ official Twitter account, the club revealed that Barkley had been suffering from a knock and was not risked:
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) 2 December 2018
His loss was Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s gain, as the midfielder came off the bench to score the crucial second goal in the 2-0 home win yesterday.
It will be interesting to see what manager Maurizio Sarri does against Wolves on Wednesday evening. Mateo Kovacic was substituted against Fulham by Sarri with the Italian explaining after the game that the midfielder was suffering from fatigue.
It’s likely then that the Croatian won’t be starting at Molineux with either Barkley or Loftus-Cheek the likeliest candidates to start in his place.