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Photo: Reuters

With Antonio Rudiger out injured, Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri will have no option but to recall experienced defender Gary Cahill to the squad as Chelsea host Slavia Prague on Thursday night.

Cahill hasn’t made an appearance for Chelsea since November and the 33-year-old has been shunned by Maurizio Sarri, and hasn’t even been included in squads for games.

But Sarri now has only Andreas Christensen and David Luiz available in defence, and has decided to call upon the experienced defender as back-up.

Antonio Rudiger came off with an injured knee during the defeat at Anfield on Sunday, and has been ruled out of Thursday’s Europa League game against Slavia Prague.

Chelsea assistant manager Gianfrance Zola handled the press conference for the Slavia Prague game, and he has revealed that Cahill is in the squad for the Europa League clash.

“Gary is in the squad for tomorrow,” said Zola. “I still do not know whether he will be on the bench but there is a strong possibility. Gary has been exceptional as a professional, he has always been training very well and so I would be very happy to see him back in the team.

“It has been a tough year for him because a manager came with different ideas and Toni Rudiger and David Luiz have done so well together, so he found himself in this position, but I can only speak very well about him because in his position considering the type of player he is, he has always been training and behaving perfectly, so he has my respect.”

Zola then assured that Rudiger’s injury isn’t serious as first feared and revealed that the German should be available for next weekend’s game against Manchester United.

“There is a strong possibility that we will see him, he is a warrior and he does not want to miss a game like that,” confirmed Zola. “The next few days will be very important to see if he can continue to progress and recover so quickly.

“Obviously he is an important player for us, I’ve seen Antonio improving in many ways, the way he plays with the ball and the way he is defending, he will be missed but we have already alternated the three defenders many times and when Andreas Christensen has come in to play with David Luiz, he has done very well.

“He is another one who has grown so much in security and confidence. So he [Rudiger] will be missed but I am sure those who are playing will do well.”

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