Tuchel: Injury situation at Chelsea has changed dramatically ahead of Luton tie

Ziyech to miss clash against the Hatters
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Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel revealed he has a number of injury doubts in his squad going into tonight's FA Cup fifth round clash at Kenilworth Road.

The Blues boss will be without Moroccan international Hakim Ziyech, while England international Reece James is unlikely to feature either, having played in Sunday’s Carabao Cup final defeat against Liverpool.

Speaking to the Chelsea official website, Tuchel said: "The situation was very good before the final because we had only Ben Chilwell out but the situation changed dramatically.

Chelsea boss Thomas TuchelChelsea boss Thomas Tuchel
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel

"We have a lot of players with physical overloads and we have some injuries from the match.

"It’s actually too much to comment about. It would be a long list so we need to see.

"We had training today, the physios and doctors are still working with the players and finding out.

"We can take the last decisions tomorrow morning when we have the departure to Luton and see who’s ready to play."

Cesar Azpilicueta is a doubt with a muscle strain, as on England international James who is just recovering from a long-term hamstring problem and Ziyech, who has an Achilles injury, Tuchel continued: "He (James) was on brilliant form but now with a huge overload on his shoulders.

"The recommendation was 20 minutes before the match and it was over 70 minutes in a final with extra tension and pressure.

"Hakim is not available as he was not available for the final unfortunately.

"He still feels uncomfortable and was not in team training today so he’s one of the guys who will miss the game tomorrow."

Midfielder Trevor Chalobah might miss out too after suffering a nasty gash following a high challenge from Naby Keita during the final.

Tuchel continued: "I could not believe that he played one more minute with this kind of injury, but he played the full match and scored a penalty.

"This is really big, he was really brave to do this and full credit to him.

"I decided not to tell if people are playing because we have so many of the players who are overloaded and with these kind of injuries I don’t want to give too much information and make preparation for Luton too easy.

"We are working on it and he was very tough and has my full respect. He showed what it takes."

Despite the 11-10 penalty shoot-out defeat against the Reds on Sunday, which ended Tuchel's hopes to add yet another trophy to the three he has already won since taking over at Stamford Bridge in 2021, the Champions League, Super Cup and World Club Cup, he doesn't think there will be any problems boosting his players spirits for this evening's tie.

The German added: "Lifting the team after Sunday should not be too hard.

"Everybody knows we played a strong match, we played to our identity, with full commitment and a lot of quality.

"You can never control the result, a winner has to be found, after 22 penalties, that tells the story more or less.

"We gave a day off to clear our minds. It was not only a disappointment, but it was physically draining and also physically demanding for us.

"This leaves us with a one-day turnaround, but this is what it is all about. It’s the next competition and the next round.

"This is life at Chelsea. We want to be competitive in different competitions, so we have to be ready.

"It is not always easy, this is what we demand and of course everybody around the team and last but not least, the players."

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