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Lampard, Ivanovic, and Ba out of Europa League tie with Sparta Prague

Ba is cup tied, while both Lampard and Ivanovic are being rested ahead of the Manchester City clash

Warren Little

Chelsea's Rafa Benitez has spoken about how he's planning to rotate the squad ahead of tomorrow's home leg against Sparta Prague, and he's ruled out a pair of Chelsea players. While we're sure to see Fernando Torres due to Demba Ba being cup tied in the competition, we're not going to be seeing either Branislav Ivanovic or Frank Lampard according to the interim manager:

'It's important to be fit and train properly, and Frank will not be in the squad tomorrow as we have to manage the group and think about all the other games.'

'Obviously Demba Ba is unavailable, but Branislav Ivanovic will also not be involved.'

'To play every game because we didn't have the options is a problem, but at least now we will have fresh legs almost for every game.'

It's interesting that he's already ruled out both Lampard and Ivanovic as players he's looking to rest ahead of an absolutely massive game this weekend, but failed to mention Juan Mata. To me, this seems like an ideal time to rest Chelsea's best player, so I really hope he starts this contest on the bench. You never can tell with Rafa though, as not many of his decisions seem to make an awful lot of sense.

With both Lampard and Ivanovic being rested, it would seem to mean that John Obi Mikel will be back in the squad for the tie. That will be good to see, as the midfield has really been missing his presence while he was away at the Africa Cup of Nations. Who knows...maybe tomorrow will be the day he finally ends his goal drought.


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