Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel has revealed that striker Hakim Ziyech and midfielder Andreas Christensen are hesitant to face Aston Villa on the second day of Christmas, where the club is still struggling with injuries and falls by Covid-19.
Ziyech missed the EFL Cup victory in the middle of the week over Brentford after receiving a blow to the calf against Wolves last weekend, while Christensen has not been in Chelsea’s last three matches and suffers from back pain.
Elsewhere, Kai Havertz, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Timo Werner are out after testing positive for Covid-19. Ben Chilwell is a long-term absence with ACL injury.
Tuchel said at his press conference before the trip to meet Villa: “For Hakim I do not know, it is very painful. He got a kick and it is very painful so there is not much time left for Aston Villa.
“Andreas got an injection and also has very bad pain in the lower back. So bad news that we have been struggling with the same things for several days now and of course we want to be competitive at the same time.
“Not easy but we try to be positive and arrive at Aston Villa with full commitment to the competitions.”
Tuchel was forced to travel with an impoverished squad to a draw against Wolves on Sunday after the Premier League rejected Chelsea’s request to postpone the match. On the question of congestion in festive events and the current situation with the coronavirus, the German demanded that five prey be returned.
“We had a feeling we had an outburst, we wanted to gain some time to deal with it mentally and to calm the team down,” he said.
“That was not the case. We live with it and we try to be as supportive as possible and we will never forget how privileged we are and how much we love what we do and can still do. It mixes with everyone.
“At this point, I would love to push for five substitutions because five substitutions were made to protect the players when the corona appeared and made life difficult.
“I think the situation is very serious and very demanding, very challenging so for the health of the players if we decide to continue playing, we should have at least five players to control the load.”
Villa will not have manager Steven Gerrard on the side on Sunday after he himself tested positive for Covid-19.
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