Thiago Silva and N’Golo Kante are hoping to return to training at Cobham today following the end of their Covid-19 isolation period, though Thomas Tuchel has admitted he will take a late decision on their involvement in Wednesday’s Carabao Cup semi-final at Tottenham.
The duo tested positive last week and missed the 2-0 first-leg victory as well as our big FA Cup win over Chesterfield. However, the Chelsea head coach is hoping to have them both involved in this afternoon’s session, our final preparation before tomorrow’s trip to N17.
There are no new injury issues to contend with following our safe passage into the fourth round so the boss expects the same group of players to be available, though he issued his usual warning that Covid cases could strike at any moment given the rigorous testing still in place.
‘Right now I would say we have the guys we had in the FA Cup and no new injuries, which is good news for us,’ he said at his customary pre-match media conference via video link.
‘We have to wait on last-minute decisions on Thiago and N’Golo. They have cardiac tests and Covid tests to follow the protocols so we can bring them back to training so we have to wait to see if they can be involved and then see how they respond.
‘It’s a gamble to play them so I’m not sure if we can do it and how much responsibility we can take there. We have to go step by step. I’m not even sure they will come to training but if they do, we can decide then.’
The boss also responded to questions about our activity in the winter transfer window…
‘We adapt daily to the situation but it has not changed for us. We have no news or updates. We are looking into the market and we have our ideas but there is no need to put on pressure or to do it in public because we are relaxed.
‘The guys who are injured we hope can come back as soon as possible and then, when we have our squad, I’m a happy coach. I am very happy with what we have. We have some struggles with these long-term injuries so we’re looking into the market for that but January is always a bit particular.
‘There is not a lot going on at the moment. I think in the end there will be more transfers [elsewhere in the market] but I actually don’t know how big it will be.’
In particular, Tuchel discussed the possibility of recalling Emerson Palmieri from his loan at Lyon...
‘With regards to any Emerson recall, it is the same question and will be the same answer.
‘There is no news and when there is, we will update you.’
Finally, Tuchel offered an insight into Billy Gilmour’s recent return to Cobham…
‘We are checking his injury. He’s our player so he’s back here to have the best examinations so we can find out about the situation.
‘Then we can decide together with him and with Norwich what’s going on. We had no talks yet over whether he stays or not.’