Chelsea

Ruben Loftus-Cheek in line for game time against Aston Villa

Krishan Davis
Ruben Loftus-Cheek is expected to feature against Aston Villa
Ruben Loftus-Cheek is expected to feature against Aston Villa / Chris Lee - Chelsea FC/Getty Images
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Ruben Loftus-Cheek could be handed some valuable game time as Chelsea get their EFL Cup campaign underway against Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.

The 25-year-old midfielder was among a number of fringe players who surprisingly remained with the club in the summer - alongside Ross Barkley, Lewis Baker and Malang Sarr - having suffered relegation on loan at Fulham last season.

Head coach Thomas Tuchel must now manage a squad that is bloated in some areas, and the Carabao Cup should provide a good opportunity to give minutes to those on the periphery.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of the visit of Villa on Wednesday, Tuchel hinted Loftus-Cheek would get a look in.

"We gave him some minutes against Zenit and that was a close game, it was a Champions League opener for us," Tuchel said.

"We gave him some minutes and that was not a gift, he deserved it. I trust him because I see how he works and he adapts to the situation and he accepts his situation and what he makes out of it, doing very good in training on a daily basis. So tomorrow there is a big chance that he can show it on the pitch."

A start would represent an excellent chance for Loftus-Cheek to stake his claim to a place in Tuchel's regular midfield rotation, with new loan signing Saul Niguez yet to impress in his new colours.

It's possible Saul and Loftus-Cheek will start alongside each other on Wednesday, with Tuchel adding he intends to field a strong Chelsea side and will not take the competition lightly.

"We are serious, we are doing things seriously and when we play a competition we are in it to win it, because this is what we are and what the club demands.

"We are in the moment in a good place because we work hard and we value the opportunities we have. The group is a strong group in the moment and we have to take care of that every day and keep on going in the same way because we cannot stand still."

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