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The Blues will be hoping a few issues will clear up when they return to Premier League action on Saturday
Chelsea went into the international break on a high, beating Middlesbrough in the FA Cup quarter-finals to book their place in the last four. The Blues will face Crystal Palace in mid-April, but face more immediate tests before then.
Thomas Tuchel had a number of players out on international duty and will be hoping that they all return fit and healthy for the run-in. This has already been a challenge in one case, with a player having pulled out from their initial nation’s squad early on in this break. There were also a few other injury doubts within the squad before the break and the German coach will be hoping he has a full complement to choose from when they face Brentford at Stamford Bridge. Shortly after that, they have to prepare for a Champions League quarter-final tie with Real Madrid, adding even more layers to the upcoming challenge.
Players will be coming back with mixed feelings. Jorginho will be disappointed after Italy were knocked out of Qatar World Cup qualification against North Macedonia. Meanwhile, the likes of Christian Pulisic and Edouard Mendy will be on cloud nine due to their successes with their countries. With Brentford now on the agenda, and with manager Tuchel set to speak to the media on Friday afternoon, football.london takes a look at the latest injury news ahead of the west London derby on Saturday.
Since the start of 2022, Reece James has featured just three times for Chelsea. A torn hamstring kept him out for much of January and February before he returned off the bench in the Carabao Cup final against Liverpool. On his first start, against Burnley, the academy graduate scored and assisted. It was a reminder of just how much he brings to the Blues side. Sadly at Turf Moor, James suffered a muscular injury and missed the following four matches. Yet that didn’t stop him being called up to the England squad for the friendlies against Switzerland and Ivory Coast, much to the bemusement of Tuchel, it should be noted.
He did pull out early on into this break and has now taken the time to get back truly on his feet with some light training work at Cobham and as a result, could now be in real contention to feature against Brentford. If that is too soon, Real Madrid would be the target.
What Tuchel has said: “He is still in individual training, otherwise, we would have brought him to Lille and we would have brought him here for sure.
“There is no doubt about it. He is still in individual training, he needs one more week of rehabilitation and I think we can provide this much better than – it is not the job of the national team to do this.”
Expected return date:Brentford (H), Saturday April 2
February was not an easy month for Callum Hudson-Odoi. The 21-year-old managed just one appearance – in the FA Cup against Luton – as he managed a troublesome Achilles issue. No risks have been taken with the academy graduate; hardly a surprise as it was a ruptured Achilles tendon that derailed his rapid development in 2019. This term has been a curious one for Hudson-Odoi. There was a spell between October and November in which he appeared to have finally secured a place in the Chelsea attack. But regular starts have become sporadic since and the likes of Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic have come back into form during his absence.
Thankfully, he was pictured back in training and could be at least part of the squad for Saturday’s fixture but Tuchel will confirm this for sure on Friday.
Expected return date: Brentford (H), Saturday April 2
Despite being named in the Denmark squad, the contract rebel was quick to pull out of his international duties. Also back in training was Christensen himself. The Dane – who has reportedly agreed a pre-contract with Barcelona – suffered a knock in the Champions League Round of 16 second leg against Lille and didn’t feature for his country before returning to Chelsea for training this week.
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