Barkley set for first Chelsea outing in game against QPR

Embed from Getty Images

Ross Barkley is set to play his first match in a Chelsea shirt in a friendly against QPR’s development side.

The game has been arranged for Thursday at Chelsea’s Cobham training ground, where Barkley is expected to return to action after a long spell out with a hamstring injury.

Barkley, recently signed from Everton, had surgery last year and has not played so far this season.

He has been in full training but is ineligible for Chelsea’s FA Cup third-round replay against Norwich because his move to Stamford Bridge was not registered early enough.

Barkley’s transfer would have had to have been rubber-stamped by midday on January 5 for him to have been able to play in Wednesday’s tie, but it went through that evening.

Embed from Getty Images

Asked if Barkley could make his debut against Norwich, Blues boss Antonio Conte explained: “No because he is not able to play because the transfer was late.”

The Italian added: “We are preparing a friendly game for him this week and we will see his physical condition.

“He could be ready for the next game or the next game.”