Football

Chelsea defender Ruediger: Squad rotation is important

Chelsea defender Antonio Ruediger has joined midfielder Cesc Fabregas in emphasising the importance of squad rotation as the champions negotiate a hectic fixture schedule.

Ruediger scored the only goal in the Blues' 1-0 win over Swansea on Wednesday, when he returned to the starting line-up after sitting out the 1-1 draw with Liverpool.

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CHELSEA NEWCASTLE

The 24-year-old German international has made just nine starts in the English Premier League since joining the Blues from AS Roma in a £29 million (S$52.7m) deal in July.

He told the Chelsea website: "We have some momentum and that is why we also have to rotate and everyone needs to get in their best form. We have to keep going and winning.

"Football is about competition and I know we have good players like (Andreas) Christensen, (Gary) Cahill, (Cesar) Azpilicueta and David Luiz, and it is important if I get the chance to try to help the team."

Luiz is still unavailable due to a knee injury, said Chelsea manager Antonio Conte last night, while Michy Batshuayi has just returned to training.

Conte, who has been fined after being charged with misconduct by the English Football Association following his dismissal against Swansea, said that he has accepted his punishment.

The Italian was ordered off the touchline by referee Neil Swarbrick near the end of the first half, after complaining angrily about Swansea's "time-wasting" antics. He later apologised. - WIRE SERVICES

Football