Cesc Fabregas was forced to pull out of the Chelsea squad to face BATE Borisov tonight because of illness.

The Daily Star reports that the Spaniard was a last-minute casualty, with many expecting the former Barcelona man to play some part in Belarus on Thursday night.

Maurizio Sarri has used the Europa League to rotate his squad and Fabregas was being tipped to start in the midfield.

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The ability to bring the Spaniard into the side would have allowed Sarri to rest Jorginho, who has been ever-present in midfield this season.

The illness comes as a huge blow for Fabregas, who himself would have been keen to play, having found game time hard to come by at Stamford Bridge this season.

Fabregas’ absence is likely to see Jorginho retain his place in midfield, despite the busy schedule.

Chelsea will be hoping to all but wrap up the group with three points against BATE on Thursday night.