Thomas Tuchel is suffering from another defensive headache after central defender Andreas Christensen was ruled out with Covid on the eve of Chelsea’s top-of-the-table game with Manchester City.
- Chelsea had another defensive headache before the weekend
- Thomas Tuchel will have to lay off Andreas Christensen due to Covid testing
- Dane has tested positive, and will now be required to go into self-isolation
Chelsea centre-back Andreas Christensen has become the latest Blues player to be tested positive for Covid, keeping him out of Saturday’s clash with title rivals Man City.
Coach Thomas Tuchel is already without long-term absentees Ben Chilwell and Reece James in defence, as will center back Trevoh Chalobah.
While speaking to the media on Friday at lunchtime, he confirmed that Denmark international Christensen has now been ruled out with a positive test as he enters a period of isolation.
Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen will miss the trip to Man City after testing positive for Covid
Head coach Thomas Tuchel doesn’t really have a number of first choices in defense
Tuchel’s squad tested positive for the Covid virus last month, with Mateo Kovacic, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner all forced into isolation in recent weeks.
The Blues had just managed to get a clean slate of coronavirus in Wednesday’s 1-0 win in the second leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final against Tottenham.
Thiago Silva and N’Golo Kante returned after isolation to be seated on the bench in north London in the middle of the week, but Chelsea only lasted two days without any Covid absents.
Chelsea boss Tuchel has lamented the uncertainty over Covid-19 testing as it is closer to ‘catching fish’, with a handful of players continuing to find their feet after an absence and others now missing again.
“For the news that Andreas Christensen will be out again after we’ve waited so long for him, and now he’s playing hard, he’s out again,” Tuchel said.
It’s a setback for everyone, for us mentally. We need to overplay to catch City and be at the top of the Premier League. And to over-perform, we simply need everyone.
It’s Thiago Silva and N’Golo Kante, but Thiago Silva and N’Golo Kante in one training session.
“We need a little more fighting to get the extra edge out. That’s what we’re missing, not in a bad way, but it’s not enough. I’ve finally got my players back, and it’s like fishing.
Chelsea recalled Kennedy (pictured) from Flamengo’s loan spell amid the injury crisis
Chelsea right-back Reece James will be out for two months with a hamstring injury
The Blues called up Kennedy from Flamengo’s loan spell in order to tackle the wing-back injury crisis – although Tuchel said one player was “not the answer”.
The Blues are in trouble at the backline after Chilwell was ruled out for this season after undergoing knee surgery and James was sidelined for two months with a torn hamstring.
Injuries have left Tuchel with one well-known full-back, Marcos Alonso, and the Chelsea boss has decided to bring Kennedy back to Stamford Bridge.
“Kennedy is back and I’m very happy about that,” Tuchel said.
“It’s a huge opportunity for him to make his mark on this club and the team. I won’t speak as if Kennedy was the solution but he did.
Chelsea face Manchester City this weekend and could be 13 points behind if they lose
Chelsea entered the match in second place in the English Premier League, 10 points behind leaders City.
Asked if a defeat at the Etihad Stadium would put City out of sight in the title race, Tuchel admitted that was a possibility.
The German coach added: “Maybe, who knows. They have dealt better with injuries and the case of Covid.
Maybe it’s luck or they do it better. They’ve had fewer injuries and fewer weeks to miss. They didn’t suffer from Covid like we did over many weeks, that’s the big difference.