Thomas Tuchel has reported N’Golo Kante and Trevoh Chalobah will be available for selection for tomorrow’s visit of Everton.
Kante came off injured during last month’s win over Juventus, and Chalobah suffered a similar fate when we beat Watford a fortnight ago. However, Tuchel was pleased to confirm their return, which means now just Mateo Kovacic and Ben Chilwell remain out.
‘NG will be back on the bench tomorrow,’ confirmed the boss.
‘He did the last two training sessions. Trevoh also did the last two sessions and will also be back in the squad.’
Kovacic’s period of self-isolation is due to end in the next couple of days, and Tuchel considered what state he and Kante will likely return in after a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
‘We need to see. Mateo has been out for seven or eight weeks with injury and then Covid.
‘It’s one thing to have NG back on the bench, and one thing to get Mateo back at the end of the week, but does that mean this is really NG, really Mateo? I doubt that. That would mean it would not be necessary to be constantly in training.
‘It will take a while, but it will be a good day for us when both of them are available.’
Romelu Lukaku faces the prospect of coming up against his former club, and Tuchel was asked if the striker is fit enough yet to play the full 90 minutes.
‘We can debate fitness endlessly. The player will say he’s fit. Fitness coaches will agree or disagree. Then comes the head coach who maybe agrees or disagrees. It can depend on the intensity level of the game.
‘He played 70-something minutes against Zenit, then we had a lot of travelling, lack of sleep, and a very intense opponent with Leeds. We decided not to put him in straight away.
‘I think he can play 70 [minutes] plus, but it depends how the game goes.’
It was also put to Tuchel that a quartet of his players – Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger, Cesar Azpilicueta and Thiago Silva - can sign pre-contract agreements with other clubs in a little over two weeks, and whether this was concerning him at such a busy period.
‘No, not so much. All of these players know very well how much we appreciate them, and the big role they play in our plans and in the presence of this team and this club.
‘They are very aware of it and will not throw it away like this. Of course it’s their right now to do things, but it’s also their right to stay with us, and be a part of the future of Chelsea Football Club.
‘We are on it with patience and with confidence, and we are on it with a trust in the relationship between the players and staff, and players and the club, and this is how it should be.’
The 12 Games of Christmas continues against Everton and Wolfsburg! Unwrap prizes like signed shirts, megastore vouchers, a Nintendo Switch and more by playing both Play Predictor games on Thursday.