There was mixed news on the injury front ahead of our trip to the South Coast tomorrow lunchtime, with Thiago Silva set to miss the game and Christian Pulisic unlikely to travel, although other doubts were expected to be available.
Thomas Tuchel reported the latest from Cobham in his pre-match press conference via video link, speaking prior to the final training session before the team head down to Southampton this afternoon.
While that meant the boss could not be completely sure about the condition of all the players ahead of the game, he revealed there was no chance of Thiago Silva being involved yet.
‘Thiago will be out for the game,’ revealed Tuchel. ‘He’s not ready.’
The Brazilian has not featured since coming off early in our win at Tottenham at the start of the month. Meanwhile, Christian Pulisic was also a doubt after reporting a tight calf in training on Thursday.
Kai Havertz, who has missed the past four games, and Tammy Abraham, who injured his leg last time out against Newcastle, were considered likely to be available for selection.
‘We have some issues with the calf of Pulisic,’ added Tuchel. ‘It’s nothing big, it just feels tight and a bit of a risk.
‘Tammy feels very good. He is free for training today and, if things go well, he’s in the squad. Kai Havertz has been training as well and will join us at Southampton.’
Tuchel was asked further about Pulisic’s injury record since joining Chelsea…
‘We are not concerned or worried but the medical department is on that. Now we have some little issues in the calf and he stopped training yesterday before it became an injury so I would not say that it is an injury at the moment. It’s risk management that relates to his history of having injuries so we do not want to enter in the same cycle.
‘It’s sometimes like this and the main thing for Christian is to stay positive, keep his head up and be ready because he can have a big impact when he starts and he can have a big impact when he comes from the bench with his intensity.
‘Chelsea bought Christian for a reason, for his quality and his potential so it’s our job to bring out the best in him. He proved in many weeks that he has the level to be a Chelsea regular player, to have a big impact at this club and it’s a challenge now to maintain the level and to keep improving.’
The boss insisted the team were gaining confidence in having an assertive style of play, whatever the game…
‘When we played against Tottenham it was a big, big game and we did our stuff right. We were brave enough to play our game and impose our style on to the opponents and this is what we want - to play the same game no matter who’s on the other side.
'Sometimes it feels super difficult to play Barnsley, a second league team, but on this day it was the hardest team to beat because it’s always like this in football so the challenge now is to be ready tomorrow.'
Finally, he was asked about Fikayo Tomori’s future, as well as others currently out on loan…
‘To be very honest, I have not spent too many minutes thinking about Tomori, not because I don’t like him or I don’t see his potential but because there was simply not time. Every minute I spend here at Cobham is a minute for the guys who are here.
‘It’s tradition at Chelsea that many players are on loan and get minutes somewhere else when they cannot make it to regular minutes in here. This is good because it’s always the target for me to have players who can make it in different circumstances, who can show their qualities in different cultures and different clubs.
‘It’s always a good sign so we will have this talk in the next weeks and months about all the guys who are on loan. Of course, I have a general impression of Tomori which means that he has high potential but I’m not into all the details right now.’