Essien and Fletcher omitted from Champions League squads

The Chelsea and Manchester United veterans are the highest-profile names to fail to make the cut as the Premier League's top teams finalise their group-stage rosters

Michael Essien and Darren Fletcher have both been omitted from their clubs' 25-man squads for theChampions League group stage.
The Ghanaian had been reunited with Jose Mourinho at Chelsea after spending last season on loan at Real Madrid but has been an unused substitute in three of the Blues' first four matches this term and now has missed out on the opening phase of continental play.

Fletcher, meanwhile, has made only 13 appearances for Manchester United since his 2011 diagnosis with ulcerative colitis and looks set to spend more time away from the pitch.

The 29-year-old was hoped to be nearing a return to action but his lack of inclusion in David Moyes's group-stage squad indicates the Scot may not be ready to play until 2014.

Previously in August, Fletcher had stated that he had been practicing self-imposed exile from the Red Devils' training ground in Carrington as he waited for his surgeon to clear him to return to training.

Youngster Adnan Januzaj, who caught the eye in United's tour of Asia this summer, is also left out of the Champions League squad, while new faces Marouane Fellaini and Wilfried Zaha have made the cut.

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