Chelsea: How Blues could line-up in Europa League final against Arsenal following Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s injury

Ruben Loftus-Cheek suffered an injury blow in Chelsea’s post-season friendly in America and is now unlikely to play in the Europa League final.

The midfielder picked up an ankle injury during the Blues’ 3-0 win over New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium.

GettyImages 1140209378 1 - Chelsea: How Blues could line-up in Europa League final against Arsenal following Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s injury
Ruben Loftus-Cheek has scored 10 goals in all competitions for Chelsea this season
Getty

Ross Barkley scored twice either side of Olivier Giroud’s header in the victory in Foxborough.

Prior to the game, manager Maurizio Sarri expressed his concerns about travelling to the US so close to a major European final.

Chelsea play Arsenal in the final in Baku on Wednesday, May 29.

GettyImages 1140252210 - Chelsea: How Blues could line-up in Europa League final against Arsenal following Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s injury
Ruben Loftus-Cheek scored in the Europa League semi-final against Eintracht Frankfurt
Getty

He did name a strong starting line-up for the match with the likes of Eden Hazard, David Luiz and Pedro all starting.

Loftus-Cheek was seen leaving the stadium in a protective boot and he is facing a year on the sidelines if the injury is as bad as feared.

The 23-year-old has played a key role in the Blues’ Europa League success this season and scored in the second leg of the semi-final against Eintracht Frankfurt.

LIVE ON talkSPORT

talkSPORT is your home of live football! Here's what's coming up on talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2…

  • Portsmouth vs Sunderland (Thursday, 7:45pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Charlton vs Doncaster (Friday, 7:45pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Manchester City vs Watford (Saturday, 5pm) – talkSPORT

He has also been directly involved in nine goals in his past 15 competitive matches for the club.

His absence will be a big blow for Sarri in his preparations for the final, which is less than a fortnight away.

The manager is likely to be able to cope without starting Loftus-Cheek as he has only made six starts in the Premier League this season.

The England international has been a key impact player from the bench, though, and has netted six times in the league.

GettyImages 1140028575 - Chelsea: How Blues could line-up in Europa League final against Arsenal following Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s injury
N’Golo Kante is expected to be fit for the final
Getty

Another player Chelsea will be awaiting news on their fitness is midfielder N’Golo Kante.

The France international limped out of their final home game against Watford with a hamstring injury and missed the last two games.

Kante is expected to be fit for the final against Arsenal and he remained in London to receive treatment while his team-mates went to America for the friendly.

Here is how Chelsea could line-up without Ruben Loftus-Cheek in the Europa League.

lineup 3 2 - Chelsea: How Blues could line-up in Europa League final against Arsenal following Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s injury
How Chelsea could line-up for the Europa League final
Build My Lineup

There are unlikely to be any surprises for Maurizio Sarri’s side when they face Arsenal due to injury problems at certain positions and poor form elsewhere.

Centre-back pairing David Luiz and Andreas Christensen are his strongest with the injury to Antonio Rudiger keeping him out.

GettyImages 1147111869 - Chelsea: How Blues could line-up in Europa League final against Arsenal following Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s injury
Hazard appears to have just one more game to play for Chelsea before he leaves the club
Getty

If Kante is fit then his is likely to play alongside Jorginho and Kovacic in midfield. Ruben Loftus-Cheek may have been pushing to replace one of those in the line-up had he not gone down with the injury but it will have made the decision for Sarri.

Ross Barkley scored twice in the charity friendly but he will likely be used from the bench.

It may also be the last we see of Eden Hazard in a Chelsea shirt with his move to Real Madrid is thought to be close.

Olivier Giroud is favourite at this stage to start up front against his former club with loanee Gonzalo Higuain struggling for goals since joining in January.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *