Thomas Tuchel is handed ANOTHER defensive headache as centre back Andreas Christensen is ruled out with Covid on the eve of Chelsea’s top-of-the-table clash with Manchester City
- Chelsea have been handed yet another defensive headache before the weekend
- Thomas Tuchel will have to do without Andreas Christensen due to a Covid test
- The Dane has tested positive and will now be required to go into self-isolation
Chelsea centre back Andreas Christensen has become the latest player in the Blues to test positive for Covid, ruling him out of Saturday’s clash with title challengers Man City.
Boss Thomas Tuchel is already without long-term absentees Ben Chilwell and Reece James in defence, with centre back Trevoh Chalobah also out.
As he addressed the media on Friday lunchtime he confirmed Denmark international Christensen has now been sidelined with a positive test as he enters a period of isolation.
Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen will miss the trip to Man City after a positive Covid test
Manager Thomas Tuchel is already without a number of his first-choice options in defence
Tuchel’s squad has been ravaged with positive Covid tests in the last month with Mateo Kovacic, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner all having to isolate in recent weeks.
The Blues had only just managed a clean coronavirus slate for Wednesday’s 1-0 Carabao Cup semi-final second-leg win at Tottenham.
Thiago Silva and N’Golo Kante returned after isolation to take a seat on the bench in north London in midweek, but Chelsea only lasted two days without any Covid absentees.
Chelsea boss Tuchel lamented the uncertainty of Covid-19 testing as akin to ‘catching fish’, with a raft of players still finding their feet after absences and others now missing again.
‘To have the news that Andreas Christensen is again out after we waited so long for him, and now he plays so, so strong, and again he’s out,’ Tuchel said.
‘It’s a bit of a setback for everybody, for us mentally. We need to over-perform to catch City and be on top of the Premier League. And to over-perform we need simply everybody.
‘It is Thiago Silva and N’Golo Kante, but it’s Thiago Silva and N’Golo Kante with one training session.
‘We need a bit more of a fight to bring out the extra edge. This is what we’re missing, not in a bad way, but it’s not enough. You finally have players back, and it’s just like catching fish.’
Chelsea have recalled Kenedy (pictured) from his Flamengo loan spell amid their injury crisis
Chelsea right back Reece James will be sidelined for two months with a hamstring injury
The Blues have recalled Kenedy from his Flamengo loan spell in order to combat their wing-back injury crisis – although Tuchel said one player is ‘not the answer’.
The Blues are left with backline problems after Chilwell was ruled out for the season after undergoing knee surgery and James has been sidelined for two months with a hamstring tear.
The injuries have left Tuchel with just one recognised wing-back in Marcos Alonso and the Chelsea boss has decided to bring Kenedy back to Stamford Bridge.
‘Kenedy is back and I am very happy about it,’ Tuchel said.
‘It is a huge opportunity for him to make his mark at this club and team. I will not talk as if Kenedy is THE solution but he is a solution.’
Chelsea face Manchester City this weekend and they can go 13 points behind if they lose
Chelsea go into the game sat second in the Premier League, 10 points behind runaway leaders City.
Asked if defeat at the Etihad Stadium would put City out of sight in the title race, Tuchel accepted it is a possibility.
The German coach added: ‘Maybe, who knows. They have dealt better with injuries and the Covid situation.
‘Maybe it’s luck or they do it better. They have had less injuries and less weeks they missed them. They did not suffer from Covid as we did over many weeks, this is the huge difference.’
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