Chelsea striker Radamel Falcao has been ruled out of his side’s Champions League opener against Maccabi Tel Aviv, although Oscar will make his return to the squad after more than a month out of action.
Manager Jose Mourinho also revealed defender Baba Rahman would make his debut against the side from Israel at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday following his arrival from Augsburg.
Falcao has come off the substitutes’ bench in all five of Chelsea’s Premier League matches in 2015-16 but will be missing with a “little problem”, according to Mourinho.
Playmaker Oscar, 24, has not featured since suffering what was initially reported as a minor injury against Swansea City on August 8 – a 2-2 draw in which he scored – but he is now set to return.
“Falcao has a little problem,” Mourinho said at his pre-match press conference. “He is not in the squad. He had a problem in a tendon during training. It will just be for this game.”
On Oscar, the Portuguese coach added: “Is he fit as in not injured? Yes. Is he at top condition? No. He is selected though and he will be in the squad. Baba will be selected as well.”
Mourinho is set to make changes to freshen up his starting XI for the game, but said that did not mean the players who come out of the line-up are in his bad books after a stuttering start to the season.
“I have a squad and I don’t have to play with the same eleven,” he said. “I am going to make a couple of changes to try a different dynamic and give a chance to players who aren’t playing.
“I can make changes, but I know the consequences – if I make a couple of changes in my team, if I take out [Cesar] Azpilicueta, you will say I have a problem with Azpilicueta, if I take out [John] Terry, you will say I have a problem with Terry, if I take out [Cesc] Fabregas, you will say I have a problem with Fabregas.”