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Thomas Tuchel would be ‘very angry’ if rivals are bending postponement rules

Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea – Carabao Cup – Semi Final – Second Leg – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
(Image credit: Nick Potts)

Thomas Tuchel has admitted he would be left fuming if rival Premier League clubs are found to be trying to bend postponement rules.

Chelsea’s request for a postponement due to seven Covid-19 cases fell on deaf ears ahead of their goalless Premier League draw at Wolves on December 19.

The Blues suffered their latest positive Covid case on Friday, with Andreas Christensen ruled out of Saturday’s league trip to runaway leaders Manchester City.

Aston Villa v Chelsea – Premier League – Villa Park

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel insists the Blues have done everything possible to keep their Premier League show on the road amid Covid-19 cases (Nick Potts/PA)

Tuchel insists Chelsea are doing everything they can to make sure their games are going ahead and hopes it is the same story elsewhere.

Asked if he thought some clubs were attempting to push the limits on postponements such as including general injuries and Africa Cup of Nations absentees, the German replied: “I strongly, strongly hope that’s not the case, because otherwise I would be very, very angry.

“Because we are doing everything to make games happen.

“And we were made to play when we thought we should maybe not.

“So I can only strongly hope that the rules are the same for everybody.”

Tuchel lamented his side’s Covid issues as “like catching fish” in light of Denmark centre-back Christensen’s absence for the weekend City trip.

The Blues had only just managed a clean coronavirus slate for Wednesday’s 1-0 Carabao Cup semi-final second-leg win at Tottenham.

Thiago Silva and N’Golo Kante returned after isolation to take a seat on the bench in north London, but Chelsea only lasted two days without any Covid absentees.

Christensen had only just returned from a back injury to boost Chelsea’s defensive shortages, but now faces another spell on the sidelines.

“We have one positive Covid test, with Andreas Christensen,” said Tuchel.

Andreas Christensen

Andreas Christensen has been struck down by Covid (John Walton/PA)

“So he will be out for this game.

“To have the news that Andreas Christensen is again out after we waited so long for him, and now he plays so, so strong, and again he’s out.

“It’s a bit of a setback for everybody, for us mentally.

“We have Thiago Silva and N’Golo Kante back, but it is Thiago Silva and N’Golo Kante with one training session.

“We need a bit more of a fight to bring out the extra edge. This is what we’re missing, not in a bad way, but it’s not enough.

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“You finally have players back, and it’s just like catching fish.”

Brazilian left wing-back Kenedy is back from a loan stint at Flamengo, with Tuchel insisting the 25-year-old has a genuine opportunity to step into the first-team picture amid Ben Chilwell and Reece James’ long-term injuries.

Chelsea will continue to push for Emerson Palmieri’s return from loan at Lyon, but Tuchel wants to hand Kenedy a chance to impress.

“Kenedy is back and I’m very happy about it,” said Tuchel.

“So it’s a huge, huge opportunity for him to make his mark at this club and in this team.

“We will try now from today on to push him and support him as best we can.


Kenedy (right) could be handed a chance to impress for Chelsea (John Walton/PA)

“We cannot say that Kenedy is the solution, he can be a solution but the situation has not changed.

“We’ve had some injuries on the wing-backs, and we suffered a lot in midfield from Covid and injuries.

“Now that our midfielders are more or less coming back we suffer a lot with our central defenders.

“So nothing has changed (on loans or transfers), but it needs to make sense, it needs to be possible on a high level, in quality and personality.

“We have a look into the market, nothing has changed. We have all options, also the option to say no.”

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