Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel has revealed that attacker Hakim Ziyech and centre-back Andreas Christensen are doubts to face Aston Villa on Boxing Day, with the club still contending with injuries and Covid-19 cases.
Ziyech missed the midweek EFL Cup victory over Brentford after picking up a knock to his calf against Wolves last weekend, while Christensen has not featured in Chelsea‘s last three matches and is suffering with back pain.
Elsewhere, Kai Havertz, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Timo Werner remain out having tested positive for Covid-19. Ben Chilwell is a longer-term absentee with ACL damage.
Speaking in his press conference ahead of the trip to face Villa, Tuchel said: “For Hakim I don’t know, it’s very painful. He got a kick and it’s very painful so not a lot of time until Aston Villa.
“Andreas got an injection and is also very painful in the lower back. So bad news that we’ve struggled with the same things for several days now and of course we want to be competitive at the same time.
“Not easy but we try to stay positive and arrive at Aston Villa with full commitment to the competitions.”
Tuchel was forced to travel with a depleted squad to for the draw with Wolves on Sunday after the Premier League rejected Chelsea’s request to postpone the match. When asked about festive fixture congestion and the current coronavirus situation, the German called for the return of five substitutions.
“We had the feeling we had an outbreak, we wanted to win some time to deal with it mentally and to settle down the team,” he said.
“That was not the case. We live with it and we try to be as supportive as possible and we will never forget how privileged we are and how much we love what we do and are still able to do it. It’s mixed between all of it.
“On this occasion I would love to push for five substitution as five substitutions were made to protect the players when corona popped up and made life difficult.
“I think the situation is very serious and very demanding, very challenging so for the health of the players if we decide to keep on playing, at least we should have five players to control the load.”