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Development Squad

Preview: Chelsea U23s v Rovers U23s

We look ahead to the Development Squad's clash with the Blues at Aldershot Town's EBB Stadium...

4 January 2019

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Rovers' Development Squad takes to the pitch for the first time in 2019 as Damien Johnson's side take on Chelsea in Premier League 2 on Saturday.

Johnson's charges ended 2018 in good form, winning their last two games of the year at Arsenal and at home to Swansea City, to rise off the bottom of the table.

Aldershot Town's EBB Stadium is the venue against the Blues, who sit in fifth place in Premier League 2, four points off leaders Everton.

Johnson will welcome Matty Platt back into the squad following his return from a loan spell with near neighbours Accrington Stanley, whilst Sam Hart could be involved after ending his loan at fellow League One club Rochdale.

Hart's not played since November, and is ineligible to play in the FA Cup after playing in the competition for Dale already this season.

Jack Evans remains sidelined with a foot injury, as does Jack Doyle, whilst Joe Nuttall could play depending on whether he is part of the first team squad at Newcastle United on the same day.

Likewise, Joe Grayson is expected to play a part in Hampshire, but following his call up to the first team squad against West Bromwich Albion on New Year's Day, his involvement with the Under-23s will depend on whether he gets the call for Tony Mowbray's first team.

Forward Dan Butterworth remains suspended following his sending off against Swansea at the back end of 2018.

Chelsea could have a young side out, with the first team playing Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup at the weekend.

The likes of Ethan Ampadu, Billy Gilmour and Callum Hudson-Odoi, who all played against Rovers earlier in the season, could be in with a shout of playing in the cup for the first team.

Kick-off at the EBB Stadium is at 12pm on Saturday 5th January.

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