Four key Chelsea stars out of Newcastle clash confirms Tuchel

Dan Butterfield
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel

Thomas Tuchel has revealed that four Chelsea stars will miss Saturday’s trip to Newcastle with injury but another three are backing in training.

Tuchel’s side were without a number of key players last weekend but it didn’t seem to affect them as the Blues ran out 7-0 winners at home to struggling Norwich.

Mason Mount stepped up with a hat-trick as forwards Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner both missed the game with injuries. Christian Pulisic hasn’t played for Chelsea since mid-August but has returned to training this week.

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Tuchel has provided an update on the three attackers ahead of their trip to Tyneside.

“Better news than ahead of Southampton. Timo and Romelu are still out. Pulisic joined training but still too early. Everybody else is available. Cesar [Azpilicueta], N’Golo [Kante] and Ruben [Loftus-Cheek] are all training,” said the German manager.

When asked if there was a return date for the injury-stricken stars, Tuchel admitted: “It is realistic that their target is after the international break. For Pulisic we are looking at the Burnley match. If everything goes alright he will be ready to play.”

The Chelsea manager then admitted that Mateo Kovacic is also out of Saturday afternoon’s fixture, a player he is a ‘huge fan’ of.

“You have just reminded me, he suffered a hamstring injury in training and will be out for some weeks.

“He is a fantastic team player, I was a huge fan of him at Real Madrid. I remember him at Clasicos, I saw such big potential in him. He has such a passion for training, it is a joy to be his coach. We want to simplify his game a little bit and not look for a third or fourth solution as he already has a first and second.” 

The absence of Lukaku and Werner has put pressure on other players to step in front of goal and the statistics show that they have. 14 different players have scores for the Blues this season.

“I know the numbers only when you tell me but it is nice to hear. Now we have to compensate the loss of Romelu and Timo. Now it is even more necessary that we arrive in dangerous positions, in the box with lots of players, bring bodies to the opponents box. It is what we want and maybe this is the reason for it. Hopefully it will not be Jorginho again as our top scorer again, no offence to him!”

Whilst the number of goal scorers has been impressive for Tuchel’s side, the Blues boss was also asked on how important defensive solidity would be in Chelsea title hopes.

“It’s one key [to winning the title] but there are lots more keys but yes, it is one. Lets be honest, we were relying a little bit too much on the performances of our goalkeepers this season. We believe that we can overcome them, we have this experience, we are a tough team to create chances and to score against but still we have to work on it. The game is so complex.”