Chelsea handed double injury boost ahead of Champions League and Carabao Cup final

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Thomas Tuchel hoping to have two keys players back for pivotal games in cup competitions.

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel says he is hoping to have some of his injured players back this week ahead of the Champions League clash against Lille.

The European Champions face a season-defining week, with a tricky game against the French champions Lille before the Carabao Cup final against Liverpool at the weekend.

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Chelsea under Roman Abramovich is a football club synonymous with winning trophies. and having bagged the Super Cup and Club World Cup, they will get an opportunity to make it a treble when they take on Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool at Wembley.

This season Thomas Tuchel has had to adjust his system partly because most of his key men at vital areas have been out with long term injuries and Covid complications.

Influential left back Ben Chilwell will not kick a ball again this season after damaging his knee in the Champions League against Juventus back in November 2021.

A few weeks after that Reece James the dependable right back with endless energy also picked up a harmless looking injury but has since been out for the last six weeks and counting.

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Dynamic midfielder Mason Mount has been in and out of the treatment table while big summer signing Romelu Lukaku has had his fair share of injuries and lack of form.

Goalkeeper Edoaurd Mendy had to spend a month away from London due to participating in the Africa Cup of Nations and the likes of Kovacic, Timo Werner, Cesar Azpilicueta, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Kai Havertz have all picked up injuries and Covid along the way.

There is however light at the end of the tunnel with games coming in thick and fast manager Thomas Tuchel says he is almost closer to full house with Azpilicueta and Mason Mount expected back in training this week.

The Chelsea boss said ahead of the meeting with Lille: “ Cesar Azpilicueta looks much better than Hudson-Odoi.

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“Let’s start with these two. Callum did not train yesterday, Azpi trained and has no reaction, so if it stays like this, which it seems to be, then he’s available for tomorrow.

“Mason Mount did a very good individual session, I think he will try to come back to team training today.

“He was out maybe a little bit too long to start. Perhaps he is involved in the squad, but he has not trained with the team yet. And Reece James is still out, and Ben Chilwell out.”

The possible inclusion of Cesar Azpilicueta and Mason Mount who both missed the win at Crystal Palace should be good news to the German manager who is now bidding to make a clean sweep of trophies as the Chelsea boss.

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The Blues manager also hinted that the system and style of play he is deploying might be the reason why strikers are struggling to get goals at the club.

Over the weekend, Romelu Lukaku had only seven touches of the ball and has scored just five league goals all season.

He has scored just once in his last eight league games and has come under huge scrutiny following another disappointing outing at Selhurst.

But in contrast most of the defenders including Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen, Malang Sarr and César Azpilicueta are all having great seasons.

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The Chelsea boss responded: “Maybe, maybe. There’s even a history of strikers struggling a little bit at Chelsea so it is not the easiest place for strikers. I don’t know exactly why the strikers do but it is obviously like this.

“We try as much to be a very aggressive side and we demand a lot also from our attackers but maybe but like I said historically Chelsea is a very compact side which makes it difficult for others to play against.”

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