Chelsea will face Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup third round clash on Saturday afternoon, and it’s a competition that the Blues will be hoping to retain having won it last season under Antonio Conte.
Chelsea assistant manager Gianfranco Zola took the pre-match press conference ahead of the Forest clash, and the Italian revealed that four big names will be unavailable for this game.
Zola revealed that Willian, Pedro, Olivier Giroud and Eden Hazard will miss the game against Nottingham Forest.
Willian sustained a knock during Chelsea’s goalless draw with Southampton on Wednesday night, while Pedro and Giroud are suffering with hamstring and ankle injuries respectively, and for Hazard, he will be given a rest ahead of next week Tuesday’s clash against Tottenham.
Zola also revealed that Chelsea youngster Callum Hudson-Odoi who has been out injured will be available for Forest tie.
“We have some players who cannot play, like Pedro, Willian and Giroud. It will leave space for others. We will rotate a little,” Zola said ahead of the match.
“Callum is back in full training, he is certainly available and I would very much like it if he is going to play.”
Bayern Munich have strong interest in Chelsea youngster Hudson-Odoi and the German giants see him as a replacement for their ageing wingers Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery who are both in their mid 30’s, and Bayern have reportedly submitted a third bid of £30m for the 18-year-old.
Zola has now urged Hudson-Odoi to focus on his career at Chelsea and believes he has the potential to be one of the best players in the world.
Zola said: “I know Bayern Munich are very interested in him but we are as well. We have proposed him a contract for quite a while so we are waiting to see what the player thinks about that. We certainly value him as a player. I know he has not played probably as much as he wanted but this is down to the quality of the players he has in front of him.
“But I have already told him it is not a waste of time. It is a time you can really get better and I hope Callum is using this time in a wise way as it will do good things to his football, and hopefully he will come to sign the contract with us. We believe he can have a bright future here.
“For an 18-year-old he has a lot of potential but the journey is not finished. He is at an age when it is very important to keep a good attitude. You have to use these years to keep improving. It is not important to play straight away or to play 20 or 30 games, it is important to develop. He has potential to be a top player but he has to keep an open mind to improving and keep getting better day by day. It is important he focuses on what he should do to be better than Willian, than Pedro, than Hazard. If he does that with the qualities he has I have no doubt he is going to be a fantastic player.”