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Preview: Chelsea Under-23s v Rovers Under-23s

A look ahead to the Premier League 2 game against The Blues, with Rovers heading down to Surrey

2 November 2019

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Billy Barr's young Rovers are back in Premier League 2 action against Chelsea's Under-23 later today looking to continue their fine run of form in league and cup.

Coming into the encounter, Barr's boys head to Cobham on the back of progress in the Lancashire Senior Cup, where they edged past Everton Under-23s to book their place in the semi-finals of the competition.

Whilst Rovers are unbeaten in their last four games in all competitions, Chelsea have been flying and come into the game in second place in the league table.

The Blues are yet to suffer defeat in Premier League 2 and have won three of their last four outings in the division, the latest of which coming against Arsenal.

Barr is likely to be without Harry Chapman, who will be assessed after coming off in the clash against Everton with a head injury.

But Ben Brereton and Dominic Samuel, who won't be involved with the first team, could play a part, with Tony Mowbray confirming that the striking duo will need Under-23s action before being included in his first team games.

Sam Barnes is likely to continue at centre back with Louie Annesley and Charley Doyle remaining out with foot injuries, and Joe Grayson being out for the season following a hamstring tear.

It's the start of a busy month for Barr and his charges, and the boss has challenged the team to get November off to the perfect start by picking up the three points.

"It's going to be a long, long month," he said ahead of the trip south to take on the Londoners.
"We're probably going to have people dropping back in at some point. Looking at that, we need people who aren't playing regularly to get game time.
"If that doesn't happen, we'll look at the Under-18s to fill the positions that we need to.
"There has been a few injuries, which is disappointing for the lads, but it also gives the younger lads an opportunity," he added.
"So the likes of Isaac Whitehall, who has come in and done really well, Sam Burns, who had played the last couple of games before Everton and it gives the scholars that chance to maybe get in and show us what they're all about."

Chelsea chief Andy Myers may welcome back Tariq Lamptey and Billy Gilmour after their first team involvement in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday evening against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.

The latter completed 70 minutes before being substituted for Mason Mount, while Lamptey remained an unused substitute.

However, the Blues will be without Dutch defender Ian Maatsen, who is currently on international duty at the Under-17 World Cup with the Netherlands.

Kick-off today is at 12pm, with the game scheduled in to be played at the Chelsea Training Ground in Cobham, Surrey.

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