Thomas Tuchel has revealed that he has three players facing late fitness tests ahead of our FA Cup quarter-final tie at Middlesbrough.

The Blues were without Reece James and Callum Hudson-Odoi for our midweek Champions League win in Lille, while Andreas Christensen limped off in the first half.

That trio of Academy graduates are all doubtful for the trip to Teesside, with the team set to train later on Friday afternoon at our Cobham training base.

‘We have Reece, Callum and Andreas Christensen uncertain,’ the boss revealed at his customary pre-match media briefing, which was delivered with journalists in the room.

‘They are in training but not in full training yesterday so let’s see. We still some checks to do and it can be a very tight race, maybe too close.’

James was named in the latest England squad on Friday morning, a decision that left Tuchel wasn't entirely expecting given the defender has only played 147 minutes of football this calendar year.

‘Yes and no,’ he answered when asked if he was surprised at the call-up. ‘I would always call Reece up no matter what if I was the head coach of the England national team so I’m not surprised.

‘Yesterday he was not match ready so let’s see what happens tomorrow. He comes now from nine weeks of injuries altogether and we have to do late tests to see if he can even do full training today and be match ready for tomorrow, which is a big doubt. If not, it makes no sense for him to go.’

With ticket sales for away supporters limited due to the sanctions imposed on the club, Tuchel gave his thoughts on restricting the ability of our fans to attend games and offered his hope that solutions could be found.

‘There are sanctions for a certain reason and we have to respect this,’ he added. ‘I don’t think it matters much if I shout about respecting the integrity of the competition.

‘We have sanctions to follow and I have trust in the board who have dialogue with UEFA and the government here to find logical exemptions and solutions for spectators to be in the stadium.

‘I can see the point that it should not be about the spectators not attending matches and I’m aware the board is tyring hard to find solutions to the situation.’