Thomas Tuchel says he is hopeful injuries to Trevoh Chalobah and Hakim Ziyech from Chelsea’s goalless draw with Wolves are not serious… but boss admits his side will ‘pay the price’ for their long list of absentees
- Chelsea dropped more points in the title race after drawing 0-0 with Wolves
- Trevoh Chalobah was withdrawn in the first half after picking up a knock
- Hakim Ziyech sustained a calf injury in the second half and was taken off
- Thomas Tuchel is hopeful neither injury will be too serious for his players
- The Blues reported seven positive coronavirus cases going into the match
- The German said the league’s decision to let the game go ahead was unsafe
Thomas Tuchel is cautiously optimistic the injuries sustained by Hakim Ziyech and Trevoh Chalobah in Chelsea’s trip to Wolverhampton will not rule the duo out for a sustained period.
The Blues were held to a stalemate at Molineux and lost Chalobah in the first half after the 22-year-old picked up a knock and was replaced by Saul Niguez.
Mateo Kovacic, meanwhile, came on for Ziyech halfway through the second half after the latter sustained a calf injury.
Trevoh Chalobah (R) was substituted in Chelsea’s draw with Wolves after picking up a knock
Blues forward Hakim Ziyech was also replaced in the second half after sustaining a calf injury
Tuchel, however, remained hopeful the injuries were not particularly serious.
‘Trevoh, hopefully it’s just painful, but at the moment it is very painful,’ he said after the 0-0 draw.
‘We still have hopes that it’s not serious, but we need to wait for further examination.
‘And for Hakim, I don’t think it’s bad, he got hit on his nerve and the calf was tight so he was limping and we had to take him off of course.’
Thomas Tuchel had several players missing at the weekend with Covid ravaging his squad
Tuchel said the Premier League endangered players’ health by allowing the game to go ahead
Missing seven players because of Covid-19, Tuchel named only six players on the bench for the trip to the West Midlands and acknowledged the injuries to Chalobah and Ziyech would stretch his resources even further.
‘Well this would be funny,’ he continued.
‘This is what I mean; we can survive a game but we will pay the price at some point, that’s for sure. And maybe we already have with all our midfielders.’
Chelsea had asked the Premier League to postpone their game against Wolves in light of their outbreak, but the request was denied.
The game was one of three fixtures to go ahead as scheduled on Sunday afternoon, with Everton’s trip to Leicester the only cancellation.
That was a marked change from the previous day, when five of the six games scheduled were called off because of coronavirus.
‘We are deeply disappointed that our application was rejected as we felt we had a strong case for the postponement of today’s match on the grounds of players’ health and safety,’ a Chelsea spokesperson said.
Tuchel added: ‘The players were worried about their health because we had several positive results in several days. The decisions are the decisions and I understand people who say we have 14 players, but we are putting players at risk.’
HOW OMICRON COVID OUTBREAKS HAVE THE PREMIER LEAGUE ON EDGE
Mikel Arteta revealed Arsenal had been forced to close their London Colney training ground after reporting a ‘few cases’ among players and staff following their 2-0 victory over West Ham United. Defender Pablo Mari and midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga were among those to test positive and therefore missed the win at Leeds.
Forced to postpone Premier League clash with Burnley on December 18 just two hours before kick-off after an increased amount of positive Covid-19 test results within their playing squad.
The Bees have 13 cases among players and staff – the club are now calling for a circuit-breaker szhutdown to help clubs recover. Their training ground has been closed and as a result their trip to Southampton on Saturday has been postponed.
Would have been without several players for Tottenham’s visit on Thursday due to Covid before the game was postponed – despite initial calls being rejected – hours before kick-off. Their training ground was closed on Thursday morning to contain the outbreak but given they have an insufficient number of players available, their weekend trip to Everton is also off.
Case numbers are currently unknown but a large outbreak saw their game with Brentford postponed. Calls to have Saturday’s game with Brighton to be postponed were accepted on Thursday, and it has emerged that United would have had only seven available players for that game such is the impact of the outbreak. Their training complex is closed until Tuesday at least, in order to reduce the risk of transmission.
Had a request for Wednesday’s game with Wolves to be postponed rejected by the Premier League following an outbreak at the club. Graham Potter confirmed there were ‘three to four’ positive cases before the game, which they lost 1-0. Saturday’s game with Manchester United has now been postponed.
Manager Dean Smith was facing an anxious wait to discover the full extent of the outbreak at the club. Josh Sargent, Lukas Rupp and Pierre Lees-Melou were absent from the squad that faced Aston Villa in midweek for ‘Covid-related’ reasons, but while Christos Tzolis is the only confirmed player to test positive, more positive test results have been returned. The Canaries had discussions with the Premier League over Saturday’s clash with West Ham and it was agreed to postpone as they have an insufficient number of players available.
Saw their midweek game with Burnley postponed just hours before kick-off. With their training ground closed, their home match with Crystal Palace has now been confirmed as postponed too. Case numbers are currently unknown but they do not sufficient players to fulfil the Palace match.
Spurs were the first Premier League club to be hit by the Omicron variant last week and saw games against Brighton and Rennes postponed after cases reached double digits among players and staff. Those who tested positive for the virus are expected to return in the next couple of days after completing their 10-day self-isolation period. Spurs’ clash with Leicester on Thursday was postponed despite initial demands to have the game called off were rejected, but Sunday’s clash with Liverpool is due to go ahead.
After Brentford, the Blues became the latest club to be hit by a Covid outbreak, after it was confirmed ahead of their game with Everton that four more first-team players had tested positive. Mateo Kovacic was the first Chelsea player to get the virus in the outbreak this week, with Romelu Lukaku, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Timo Werner and Ben Chilwell following. Neverthless, their game with Everton went ahead and was drawn. Despite recording seven positive Covid cases, the Blues saw a request for their trip to Wolves rejected and Tuchel fumed at the decision to allow the game – which ended 0-0 – to go ahead on Sunday.
It was confirmed just an hour before kick-off against Newcastle on Thursday night that Fabinho, Curtis Jones and Virgil van Dijk were all out having tested positive for Covid. Midfielder Thiago also tested positive for Covid before Sunday’s trip to Spurs and Jurgen Klopp said it is ‘not possible’ for the Reds to continue playing if more players fall ill.
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