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It’s gameday and Chelsea face Real Madrid in the Champions League for the second season in a row. Thomas Tuchel’s side were emphatically beaten by Brentford at the weekend and will be looking to put that result behind them when they face Los Blancos.
Thomas Frank’s side shocked Chelsea on Saturday, comfortably beating the European champions 4-1 at Stamford Bridge. Vitaly Janelt bagged a brace, Christian Eriksen claimed his first Bees goal and Yoane Wissa netted at the death as Frank’s side all but secured their top-flight status. Toni Rudiger delivered a long-range thunderbolt to power Chelsea into a second-half lead, but the Blues capitulated straight afterwards for their heaviest loss of the campaign. After six straight wins while shaking off all the takeover talk, Chelsea cracked and lost focus and discipline – leaving boss Tuchel perturbed but not panicking.
“We had a day off, which was maybe necessary to digest it. We talked about it, but no special talks, no special team talk,” the German said in his pre-Real Madrid press conference on Tuesday afternoon.”We talked openly about it in a debrief, which is very usual for us. We set new targets which is what you do in sport no matter whether you win or lose. It was a crucial loss and we absolutely didn’t like what happened. We consider this the exception to the rule. We allowed ourselves on Monday to focus on the match tomorrow because it’s what’s needed.”
With no direct updates on the team news from the Chelsea boss, football.london brings you what we understand the only two injury worries are ahead of this one.
Hudson-Odoi managed just one appearance in February as he struggled with a troublesome Achilles issue. No risks have been taken with the academy graduate – hardly a surprise as a ruptured Achilles tendon derailed his rapid development in 2019.
He didn’t feature in the Blues’ latest training session ahead of this clash of European giants.
What Tuchel has said: “Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ben Chilwell will miss the game tomorrow. Callum still feels his Achilles a little bit and has some lower back problems. Everyone else was in training.”
Chilwell suffered a cruciate ligament injury in his knee that is set to keep the wing-back out for the rest of the season. The 25-year-old performed well in the early stages of the season but won’t make a return until the summer.
Alongside Hudson-Odoi, the left-back was the only other absentee from Cobham training on Tuesday morning.
Expected return: Summer 2022
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