Toni Rudiger trained with the rest of the squad this morning at Cobham ahead of our important Champions League game in Valencia.
The session, held in Surrey drizzle, was the last on-grass preparation before tomorrow night’s game against the side which defeated us 1-0 at Stamford Bridge in the opening group game. Since then, our form in the competition has been good enough to lift us into a position whereby a win in Spain will guarantee a place in the knockout stage in the New Year. Victory for Valencia would take them through.
Rudiger underwent surgery near the start of this month on a pelvic problem. His one game this season was in mid-September at Wolves when he was forced off at half-time.
Callum Hudson-Odoi missed the trip to Manchester City at the weekend having returned from England international duty with a hamstring concern and unlike Rudiger, he was not one of the players who entered the training pitch for the start of today’s squad session which, due to Champions League regulations, was open to the media.
Ross Barkley did train. The midfielder’s most recent match was five weeks ago. He has had an ankle injury.
Young players Billy Gilmour and Tariq Lamptey were the two not in our regular men’s first team squad who were involved in today’s training.
There will be better weather for the squad when they arrive in Spain later today with the temperature predicted to be in the low 20s. At the Mestalla Stadium at approximately 6.30pm UK time, Frank Lampard and Tammy Abraham will be speaking to the media.
The conference can viewed live on The 5th Stand app and via this website.