Chelsea have started the season in emphatic fashion, unbeaten in seven games in all competitions, and conceding only one goal in the six games since winning the Super Cup to kick it all off. We will be looking to continue this momentum in the third round of the Carabao Cup against Aston Villa on Wednesday.
Chelsea have already beaten Villa 3-0 in the Premier League but not without some hiccups. So even as Thomas Tuchel will be looking to rotate tomorrow, he’s made it very clear that we will be taking things very seriously, as usual.
“Yes we will have some changes, because we take the opportunity to give important minutes in important competition to guys who are missing minutes at the moment.”
“I don’t know if more serious or not, we are serious, we are doing things seriously, and if we play a competition we play to win it. This is what we are and what the club demands. This does not change, we are in the moment in a good place because we work hard and we value the opportunities that we have.
“The group is strong at the moment, and we have to take care of that every single day. It’s not a given and it doesn’t last forever. We need to improve, everybody will improve and we cannot stand still.”
Some players will be expected to make their first start of the season to get some minutes under their belts — Ruben Loftus-Cheek perhaps (“Tomorrow, there’s a big chance he can show it on the pitch”) — while others will get a chance to play themselves back into form. Saúl and Timo Werner come to mind in that regard, with Tuchel reflecting on the latter’s situation extensively in his pre-match comments. Werner has played just 29 minutes in our last five games combined, after starting each of the first two (prior to Romelu Lukaku’s return).
“[Werner] was not happy with the performances in the beginning. We know that he can be much more dangerous and much more of an attacking threat than he was. But in the last training sessions he’s been more relaxed, more fluid in his movements, and showing more confidence.
“That’s why we put him on early against Tottenham, because we saw this development and there are clear signs that he is on a good way and I hope he can show and prove it tomorrow.
“[And] more important is how he trains. Not only in pure quality of training but also the attitude. He moves more freely and his decision-making has more confidence. Sometimes it needs a bit of time. Sometimes you don’t have this one particular reason why things look a bit more easy, but Timo is in this moment.
“Also he can push himself and keep this momentum going. Everybody is happy if he can show his skills in front of goal. He can be dangerous and this is what we want. This is why he is here to be dangerous, to score goals and also to assist. And to create and open spaces with aggressive runs. This was a big step forward in the last game against Tottenham.”
-Thomas Tuchel; source: Football.London
We haven’t won the League Cup since 2015, so let’s get this year’s campaign started off on the right foot!