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Chelsea boss Grant explains Pizarro, Sidwell axing

Claudio Pizarro and Steve Sidwell have been axed from Chelsea's Champions League squad ahead of the knock-out rounds of the competition.

Blues boss Avram Grant had to create room to accommodate new signing Nicolas Anelka and Michael Ballack, who did not feature in the group stages due to injury.

New £10 million capture Branislav Ivanovic is the other big name to miss out, while Scott Sinclair is unsurprisingly overlooked.

Champions League guidelines state that squads can only name 23 'A squad' players, although the number can rise to 25 if the squad retains three 'locally trained players'.

"It's a hard decision to take two players out when they have been playing well, but we need to choose, so I'm very disappointed that I cannot take all the team together," Grant was quoted as saying in The Independent.

"The players that are not in the list are very good players and have done a very good job and I am sure they still will, but I needed to choose because of the rules."

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