Callum Hudson-Odoi, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Chelsea’s other young stars train as they eye a chance to impress in FA Cup clash with Nottingham Forest
- Chelsea welcome Nottingham Forest to Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon
- The FA Cup clash could give Chelsea’s youngsters a rare first-team opportunity
- Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek seemed in good spirits on Friday
Chelsea’s young stars looked in good spirits as they trained on Friday – in what represents their final chance to convince Maurizio Sarri they deserve a run-out in the FA Cup.
Chelsea boss Sarri is expected to make several changes for the Stamford Bridge clash against Championship side Nottingham Forest at Stamford Bridge.
Callum Hudson-Odoi, Ethan Ampadu and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are among those pushing for a rare start for the Blues and they were all put through their paces at Cobham on Friday.
Callum Hudson-Odoi was among the Chelsea youngsters to train at Cobham on Friday
He and the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek (c) are pushing for a rare chance to start on Saturday
Boss Maurizio Sarri is expected to make several changes for the clash with Nottingham Forest
With Chelsea still fighting on four fronts, Sarri must negotiate a tough run of five matches in 17 days between Saturday’s clash with Forest and their Carabao Cup semi-final second leg against Tottenham.
That packed fixture list should give Chelsea’s young players a chance to make their case over the next couple of weeks and they certainly looked to be enjoying training on Friday.
The likes of Ampadu and more senior stars such as Cesc Fabregas were put through reaction exercises as well as traditional training drills.
Hudson-Odoi, meanwhile, has been linked with a move away from Chelsea, with Bayern Munich interested in the forward.
Cesc Fabregas and Alvaro Morata take part in a reaction exercise during training on Friday
Goalkeeper Willy Caballero, who could start on Saturday, is put through his paces in Cobham
Young Wales star Ampadu tries his hand at the reaction drill during training on Friday
But assistant boss Gianfranco Zola insists the Blues still have much to offer the 18-year-old.
Hudson-Odoi has been frustrated by the lack of first-team opportunities this year.
He has made just one Premier League appearance this season and just six across all competitions, despite his reputation as the most promising talent to emerge from the academy in recent years.
Bayern Munich target Hudson-Odoi has been frustrated by the lack of first-team opportunities
Chelsea No 1 Kepa dives low to his right to make a save during the session at their training base
‘I know Bayern is very interested in him, but we’re interested in him as well, said the Chelsea assistant.
‘We’ve proposed with him a contract for quite a while, so we’re waiting to see what the player thinks about that. We certainly value him as a player.
‘I know he hasn’t played probably as much as he wanted, but this is down to the quality of the players in front of him. I’ve already told the player: it’s not a waste of time. It’s a time in which you can really get better, because you are pushed to do more.’