Hakim Ziyech was a surprise absence over the weekend, not even named among the nine substitutes on the bench as Chelsea took on, and took care of, Burnley at Stamford Bridge.
Head coach Thomas Tuchel explained that decision and the situation with welcome clarity afterwards, revealing that Ziyech had been approaching a fitness red zone, “a personal overload” after the work he had put in during and following his recovery from the hamstring injury that kept him out for almost all of December. And considering that it was his second multi-week injury of the season already, that sort of precaution was certainly most welcome as well.
With the “full break”, Tuchel expected Ziyech to be ready to go “full-on” this week, and the player himself has confirmed that in an interview with beIN Sports today.
Twitter translates that, in part, as “Ziyech confirms his 100% readiness for a confrontation [with] #Tottenham” and that sounds good enough to us.
That said, to what extent the Wizard of AMS will be involved against the Evil Wizard of Mou is anyone’s guess. Mason Mount was very good in that No.10 role on Sunday, though it’s far from a given that Ziyech would stick with the 3-4-3 in the first place.
But, it’s good to have options, especially ones as good as Ziyech — even if he hasn’t quite lived up to his billing in a Blue shirt just yet.