Chelsea secured the passage to the quarterfinals of the FA Cup after a hard-fought 1-0 win over Barnsley yesterday. But now the focus shifts back to the Premier League campaign where Chelsea, placed fifth on the table, face Newcastle United on Monday night.
Chelsea are on a run of five unbeaten matches under Tuchel in all competitions. Making it six would require some doing as the manager declared Chelsea's Player of the Season candidate Thiago Silva and Havertz out for the game.
Andreas Christensen, who was subbed off against Barnsley at halftime, is back with Timo too recovering from a "dead leg" in time to face the Magpies.
"It was not concussion-related at all. It was a headache so we took Christensen off. It’s too soon for sure for Thiago. We are aiming for Southampton and trying hard so let’s see if we make it but we cannot promise.
"It’s Friday and we still have three training sessions before the game. It should be absolutely okay for Timo to come back but maybe too close for Kai. I'm not sure if he’s out [of training] today but he will be missing this match as well."
-Thomas Tuchel; source: Chelsea FC
Kai Havertz' adaptation to the Premier League hasn't gone according to the plan. And given his price tag as well as the hype generated over the transfer of one of the best young attackers in the world, the scrutiny was bound to increase every time Kai failed to register anything significant on the stats sheet.
Lampard was always boisterous when discussing Kai's potential and value in the press conferences, and Tuchel has been no different in his valuation of the German attacker. While there's no specific injury mentioned for Kai's absence, one can assume the boss is keeping him off the spotlight before unleashing him when the time is right. Lampard's similar approach towards Pulisic last season showed that may work.
"I am pretty sure we will see [the Leverkusen Havertz], there is no short answer though. What we know is there is all this potential in him and he can show it on the pitch. For every transfer, change of club, every player is different.
"Some players need more time to adapt, sometimes it is a process. All we can do is push him, support him and give him what he needs. He had a good start with us, good matches and I have a feeling that he is a guy who is clear, self-aware, humble and very talented. There are no doubts he will show this.
"Hopefully he can come back in the next days because I am confident he can have a big impact."
Tuchel has been constantly bombarded with questions about his handling of the academy youth players despite the head coach having an impressive track record of developing young players in his tenures in Paris and Germany.
Once again Tuchel reiterates his belief about the club's academy to be the 'backbone' of the first team. Yesterday's introduction of Tino Anjorin, with the game in balance, from the bench certainly showed the German isn't just paying lip service to the fans.
"The door is always open in my office for the coaches, officials from the academy. I love to watch their training, in-house games on the other pitches, which is unfortunately not allowed at the moment because we are in the bubble so it is a bit more difficult than usual.
My belief is that is the backbone of any club, the more guys you have arrive in the first team, the better it is for the club."
-Thomas Tuchel; source: football.london
As always, the priority remains getting the three points on Monday night. The rest will follow.