An update on Chelsea’s potential injury concerns has been revealed, ahead of Wednesday’s mouthwatering Champions League, first-leg quarter-final clash with Real Madrid…
What’s the latest?
As per Goal’s Blues correspondent Nizaar Kinsella, Thomas Tuchel has just two injury concerns for tonight’s clash at Stamford Bridge, with England duo Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ben Chilwell set to be the only notable absentees.
The report suggests that while the latter man is ‘expected to be out for the season’ having ruptured his cruciate ligament against Juventus back in November, his £27m-rated teammate is not far from a return to action, having missed Saturday’s shambolic defeat at the hands of Brentford due to an Achilles complaint.
One man who was also absent from that matchday squad for the 4-1 drubbing was academy graduate Trevoh Chalobah, although the 22-year-old is believed to have only been left out due to ‘tactical reasons’ and should be fit to feature against Carlo Ancelotti’s side.
While far from ideal, the loss of three-cap international Hudson-Odoi is not exactly the biggest blow to Tuchel’s preparations, with the former Paris Saint-Germain boss able to call upon a wealth of attacking talent for the visit of Los Blancos.
It is defensively where the continued absence of former Leicester City man Chilwell – who signed on a £50m deal back in the summer of 2020 – remains an issue, with £13.5m-rated defender Marcos Alonso currently the only recognised left wing-back in the first-team squad.
The Spaniard had been in improved form prior to the international break, although was hooked after just 55 minutes against the Bees at the weekend, having lost possession 11 times and received a match rating of just 6.7 for his brief outing, as per SofaScore.
Although the decision to deploy the former Bolton man in a flat back four may have been to blame, even in a 3-4-3 formation the £100k-per-week star is still not of the quality of his stricken colleague.
That is best illustrated by the fact that the more senior man has registered just four goal contributions in 20 Premier League appearances so far this season, while teammate Chilwell has also registered the same number of goal contributions despite only making six top-flight outings.
Viewed as something of a defensive liability, Alonso is also seemingly failing to really make a difference in the final third, with it perhaps of little surprise that the west London outfit were so keen to secure a new left-back signing in the winter window.
As it is, the one-time Sunderland man is seemingly Tuchel’s only natural fit for that left-sided berth, with both the club and supporters likely counting down until his fellow full-back can return to action.
Chilwell’s absence could prove a major obstacle in getting past 13-time European champions, Madrid, and as such, it is likely to leave Tuchel sweating ahead of kickoff – he’ll be gutted to not have either of the two available for a fixture of this magnitude.
AND in other news, John Terry tips surprise name for Chelsea captaincy over Jorginho and Silva…