Chelsea coach, Thomas Tuchel was speaking to the media earlier today ahead of his team’s champions league opener against Zenith St. Petersburg at Stamford Bridge tomorrow.
The gaffer has given an insight into the his squad and has provided some fitness update ahead of the UCL game.
Chelsea had two absentees due to injury during the weekend with N’golo Kanté and Christian Pulisic unable to face Aston Villa due to injury.
The duo are still absent and wouldn’t be able to play tomorrow. Tuchel has confirmed.
While Christian Pulisic hasn’t trained and is still within his 10 days recovery period, Kanté has made great progress in his recovery and has returned to training but tomorrow’s game “comes a bit too early” for him.
Tuchel also commented on Ben Chilwell’s position as the Englishman has not played any game since the champions league final in May.
Tuchel: “Yes, it has been difficult for him to come from a UCL win and strong performance playing many minutes on a high level for us. It was a tough Euros for him personally. I know it was tough for him. It is a strange feeling if you never wear the shirt”
Chilwell has seemingly lost the left wing-back spot to Marcos Alonso but Tuchel still believes in him and the German tactician is optimistic about Chilwell’s chances this season as he gave reasons why the former Leicester man hasn’t played a single game this season.
Tuchel: “I felt him mentally tired, worrying about the situation still. He had to accept it and he has been unlucky at the start of the season because Marcos took every training session and opportunity with incredible attitude and quality”
The Chelsea boss also spoke on Chelsea outcasts, Ross Barkley, Malang Sarr, and Ruben Loftus-Cheeck as he hinted on giving the trio game time during the course of the season.
Ruben Loftus-Cheeck seemed the most likely to remain at Chelsea this season with Barkley and Sarr both looking for possible loan moves away from the club but the duo couldn’t get a club and they’re now forced to sit the next six months at least, on the fringes.
Tuchel spoke on giving Loftus-Cheeck, Barkley and Sarr game time with the clear condition of them being ready to take their chances but he further added that there are “no promises”.
Tuchel “Malang [Sarr] and Ruben [Loftus-Cheeck] are in the squad. Barkley was in the squad vs Villa. It is a tight group. For whatever reason they didn’t find any other clubs but that doesn’t matter, now they are in the group”
Eventually, the crux of Tuchel’s press conference pre Zenith was giving opportunities to every player, and also the fitness of his squad. No new injury problems for the team.