Nigerian striker Victor Moses did not make the trip to Bucharest for Thursday’s Europa League clash with Steaua Bucharest as expected.
The Super Eagles attacker and Brazilian Ramires were left behind as the others boarded the flight to Bulgaria on Wednesday.
It was learnt that Rafa Benitez chose to rest the pair ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup quarter-final match against Manchester United at Old Trafford. Striker Demba Ba also missed the trip but in his own case he is cup-tied after playing for Newcastle in the competition before crossing over to Chelsea.
Interim manager Benitez has placed high premium on the FA Cup as that is one of the two trophies still available to the English club. Chelsea set unenviable record this season as the first defending champions to drop out at the group stage. Having lost out of the Premier League chase, the FA Cup is the only domestic trophy still within reach.
The African Nations Cup star rallied his team mates last week to work harder after they defeated Middlesbrough 2-0 to book a date with United.
“(The FA Cup) will be important for us, we’ve already lost a few competitions this season, so this one would be massive for the club,” Moses told the club’s website.
Moses and Mikel Obi are the only members of the squad that have won trophy this year following their South Africa 2013 success. Yossi Benayoun (ankle) and Oriol Romeu (knee) are expected to miss out through injury, but John Terry (knee) may not be risked following a fairly stuttering return from a spell on the sidelines.