Thomas Tuchel has confirmed there will be changes to the side for Chelsea’s Carabao Cup game this week, but one of them will not be Edouard Mendy returning in goal.
The Senegal international was ruled out of the win at Spurs on Sunday as he was still suffering the effects of a collision to his upper body in the previous game. Although recovery has not been rapid enough to face Aston Villa on Wednesday night, Tuchel has not ruled Mendy out of the big weekend game against Manchester City.
‘Mendy cannot play tomorrow,’ Tuchel confirmed at his pre-match media conference.
‘He has not been in training so far so we will try to do everything for Saturday, to reintegrate him tomorrow for individual training and hopefully Thursday’s team training, but not yet.
‘I think Saturday is possible but it's a race against pain and a race against time. So let's see. I hope he will be back in team training on Thursday and if this goes well he can be ready for Saturday, but I don't know right now.’
On his team selection for the midweek cup-tie, Tuchel added:
‘It's a matter of the amount of games and the loads that we had for the players. There were some intensive games. I will not announce the line-up now but there will be some changes because we take the opportunity to give important minutes in an important competition to guys who are missing the minutes at the moment.’
Timo Werner has not started a match since Romelu Lukaku arrived so might be one to be introduced, and Tuchel was pleased with what he saw when he played both of the forwards together in the second half at Tottenham.
‘Timo can play with Romelu, that is sure, and he did very well at Tottenham the last 25 to 30 minutes of the match,’ he said. ‘That gave us a clear impression of how dangerous these two can be together.
‘There was some disappointment to brush off Timo’s shoulders from the Euros during the summer, and from the first games here I think he was not happy with the performances in the beginning. We were not absolutely happy because we know that he can be much more of an attacking threat than he was. But in the last training sessions he was more relaxed, more fluid in his movements with more confidence, and that's why we put him on early against Tottenham because we saw his development.
‘We had him in dangerous positions around Romelu, he was not too far out on the pitch, he was in and around the box and he had his chances, and the assist which was well done. In training he moves more freely and his decision-making is with more confidence.
‘There are clear signs that he is in a good way, and I hope he can show and prove it tomorrow.’