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‘We have a problem’ – Tuchel provides Chelsea Covid update; makes another selection decision

Thomas Tuchel has confirmed that Andreas Christensen and Trevoh Chalobah are “very doubtful” for Chelsea’s game against Brentford on Wednesday, while he is deliberately not risking N’Golo Kante.

Chelsea make the short trip across west London on Wednesday for a Carabao Cup quarter-final. It is the latest game in a busy schedule that has been difficult for Tuchel to navigate.

A number of positive Covid-19 cases have given the manager several selection headaches. He wanted their game against Wolves at the weekend to be postponed.

The Premier League did not grant Chelsea their request. Now, they have another fixture to prepare for in a different competition.

Chelsea will be battling Brentford for a place in the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup. But once again, Tuchel cannot call upon a full squad, since his positive players remain in quarantine.

He told a press conference: “The players are OK; that is most important. They cannot be back; they are out for 10 days before they can be released.

“We don’t really know when they can play or not but first off all they are 10 days out.

“Nobody is back from there except for Jorginho. Andreas Christensen is very doubtful and same for Trevoh Chalobah.”

Tuchel was then asked what kind of side he could put out given the number of absences and the fact that the Carabao Cup may not be their priority.

He replied: “They trained with us yesterday and today. We made them come in for two sessions because it is necessary. We detected Lewis Baker was positive; that’s another risk.

“N’Golo Kante played 90 minutes against Wolves which was close to irresponsible. Will he be in the squad tomorrow? No.”

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Tuchel wants to stay competitive

With Kante also out for different reasons, it is clear Tuchel will not be sending out a full-strength lineup. But he admitted he was disappointed that they could reach a cup quarter-final and not be able to prioritise it.

He said: “Yes because we are so competitive. That’s why we work here; that’s what made them Chelsea players.

“I absolutely don’t like judging the importance of games because you can never tell what that can do to you. There is nothing more important than winning and fighting the fights together.”

Tuchel also denied the notion that Chelsea were the victims of the strength of their squad, when it came to the Premier League not postponing their fixture.

He said: “I’d be very surprised if the league takes a judgement on the quality of players that are available.

“We have a squad, it is a very strong squad but it is not the biggest and when we miss nine players, we have a problem.”

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