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Thiago Silva still not fit as Tuchel assesses Manchester United challenge

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Fitness updates from the boss ahead of the showdown vs United

Chelsea Training and Press Conference Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Fresh off an important victory against Atlético Madrid in the away leg of the Champions League Round of 16, Chelsea turn attentions back to the Premier League with a massive home game against Manchester United on Sunday evening.

Tuchel's been unbeaten since taking over from Lampard, collecting six wins and two draws in the eight games in all competitions. Unfortunately, he still won’t have Thiago Silva available to help extend this unbeaten streak. The veteran center back has been out with a thigh injury for the past five games, since hurting himself in the 1-0 win against Spurs, and remains limited to just some individual rehab work.

"He did an individual session today, on the pitch, and felt it was big progress. It’s a big step ahead for him, so I hope he will join the group next week."

Ole Gunnar Solksjær’s Manchester United are on a run of 19 games unbeaten away from home in the Premier League, and on a six-game unbeaten run against Chelsea. That doesn't make for a pleasant reading. Neither does Tuchel's own record against Ole, with two home defeats and two away wins.

Of course, those stats won’t particularly matter in this case. What it does mean is that Tuchel is well aware of the style with which United are likely to approach the game, and thus hopefully has a good plan to deal with it.

"It helps if you know the style, the strengths and weaknesses. We have a pretty good impression of the style they play and the spaces they want to hurt us, and their strengths individually and as a group. That helps to prepare.

"They like to have space, they like to counter-attack, they like to use their speed and absorb our speed. They are strong team that can defend very compact, very good in transition whoever plays, and it will be a big challenge to defend all this.

"We will underline our opinion and knowledge with pictures from the last four weeks, like always, and then we will prepare our team to hopefully win this match. We will totally focus on us, what we have to do to win this difficult match.

"There is a lot to do but we are on a good run, and it will be a big challenge to be the first ones to beat them in a Premier League away game."

Chelsea’s fixture list isn’t getting any easier anytime soon, with this massive top-four clash followed by a massive top-six clash against Liverpool on Thursday, as well as games against Everton and Leeds United before the return leg against Atlético.

But the Blues look to be building confidence step-by-step, game-by-game, win-by-win. Tuchel’s certainly looking to instill a positive mindset in the team. A win here would not only help out in our quest for the top-four, but also keep building the trust in Tuchel's project and direction.

"There was a London derby, a Champions League game against Madrid, and now Manchester United, Liverpool and Everton in the league, a series of big fixtures and challenges to overcome.

"But it’s exactly why we are here. We are looking forward to preparing the team to be ready on Sunday. If we get a win out of this game it will be huge for us. If they get a win it will be huge for them to put a difference between us.

"So let’s see. We are very aware.”

- Thomas Tuchel; source: Chelsea FC

Well, time to improve our recent record against Manchester United and end the weekend on a high note!