Why Ross Barkley was omitted from Chelsea’s matchday squad for Fulham game

The 24-year-old – who has enjoyed a stunning start to the season – was a notable absentee for the West London derby at Stamford Bridge.

Barkley has featured in 18 games in all competitions for the Blues this campaign – banging in three goals and providing four assists.

But the England international was left out of the Chelsea squad after it has been claimed he picked up a knock in the Europa League win against PAOK.

Taking to Twitter, Chelsea said: "Maurizio Sarri has confirmed that @RBarkley8 picked up a knock in Thursday's 4-0 win over PAOK, and so is being rested today."

Boss Sarri looks to be taking no chances ahead of Wednesday's away trip to Wolves, followed by a home tie against Manchester City next week.

Croatian ace Mateo Kovacic replaced Barkley in the starting XI to face Claudio Ranieri's struggling side.

The midfielder – on loan from Real Madrid – has featured regularly under Sarri since making the move from Spain.

He will be hoping to put in another impressive performance as he looks to nail down a starting spot.

And with Chelsea set for a busy Christmas period, you can be sure Sarri will continue to ring the changes.

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