Chelsea FC are through to the FA Cup quarterfinals thanks to a 2-0 victory against Sheffield United. Our latest win means we remain unbeaten through fourteen matches under manager Thomas Tuchel’s guidance, an impressive feat given the usual expectations put onto managers who challenge themselves with taking on ailing teams mid-season.
As expected following a rather demanding encounter with Atlético Madrid in the Champions League which also ended as a 2-0 win, today’s fixture brought forth multiple changes including a few surprises. Beyond the hilarious publication of multiple lineups before kick-off, Tuchel’s final team selection included notable absences for striker Tammy Abraham and goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.
Speaking about Abraham, Tuchel confirmed that the injury that has kept the young English striker out of the previous matches prevented his availability again today.
“Yes, he quit training yesterday after a five-minute warm-up so there was more or less no chance he could join the squad today. It was the same injury, more or less, but he had a re-injury in more or less the same spot where the first injury, so he is in pain. He had to quit the session after five minutes with no chance he could join us today.
“Yes, the most important thing for Tammy is to be fit. The second is then to take things step by step, to train and fight for his way back. His way back is maybe to be a substitute and to be hungry and full of quality in training. These are the next steps.
“Now is not the time to worry about the first eleven because he is out now for many games, unfortunately too many games. It’s absolutely not his fault and he is hungry to come back. He tries all the time but this is the risk with pushing the players to be back as soon as possible.
“It was an accident in training because we thought he was in the squad today. So nobody’s fault. So now is a kind of restart and we hope he can use the next two weeks to get fit again.”
In place of Mendy, Kepa Arrizabalaga featured again for Chelsea. It was his third appearance under Tuchel, playing a vital part in ensuring his 37th clean sheet for Chelsea (and third under Tuchel).
Kepa’s selection to the first team included the promotion of Willy Caballero to the bench, leaving Edouard Mendy out of the squad. Tuchel notified that Mendy’s absence was not injury related, however Mendy will undergo a dental operation to coincide with the upcoming international break.
“Edou Mendy will stay because he has an operation on his tooth. He needs to see the dentist because it needs to be done. It’s why we do it now.”
-Thomas Tuchel; Source: football.london
Take good care of your teeth, kids!