Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel facing Juventus juggling act as he challenges stand-ins to keep thriving

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·3-min read
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel facing Juventus juggling act as he challenges stand-ins to keep thriving
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Thomas Tuchel is convinced he can tinker his way to glory this season. The Chelsea manager is facing another juggling act up front for Tuesday’s Champions League showdown with Juventus.

Romelu Lukaku is still not fit enough to start after a month out with an ankle injury and Kai Havertz is a doubt due to tight hamstrings.

But Timo Werner could start for the first time in a month after recovering from his own hamstring problems.

Tuchel has already had to cope without Mason Mount and Christian Pulisic for extended periods due to illness and injury – but it has done nothing to halt Chelsea’s progress, with the European champions needing a point on Tuesday to secure qualification from Group H, while they currently top the Premier League table.

Tuchel says that proves they have the tools to handle even the most high-profile of absentees.

“We always had the options, it’s on the players, when they are needed, and when they have the chance to show their potential they need to show it,” said the German. “They need to be ready. That’s life at Chelsea and this is what they do in a very impressive way.”

Chelsea are undefeated in the six games they have had to play since Lukaku and Werner limped out of their 4-0 win against Malmo last month.

Tuchel added: “When we play with Romelu, we play with Romelu. When we play with Timo, we play with Timo. And when they are not available, we try to find solutions. That’s why we are here, that’s why we have a big squad.

“And this is why we trust everybody because the guys know what it takes to play for Chelsea.”

While a draw is enough to secure qualification to the knockout stages of the Champions League, Tuchel still has his sights on topping the group.

“First and foremost we do what we do, when we play football games, we try to win them,” he said. “This is what we do and this will not change.

Timo Werner could start for the first time in a month for Chelsea against Juventus (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
Timo Werner could start for the first time in a month for Chelsea against Juventus (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

“Okay, later in the game, if the score is a draw, we will maybe not allow [goalkeeper] Edou Mendy to go into the opponents’ box when we have a late corner, because we will not risk our qualification and go all-in.

“But until this moment we will try everything to win the game.”

Meanwhile, Trevoh Chalobah has outlined his dream to be the next Thiago Silva at Chelsea.

The versatile defender has been one of the discoveries of the season after thrusting himself into Tuchel’s first-team plans. And he has now revealed how Brazil veteran Silva is his inspiration.

“Thiago Silva was one of my idols growing up as a kid, how successful he has been,” said Chalobah. “For me as a young player, he is where I want to be and where I want to get to.

“I still pinch myself to this day. It has been an unbelievable start for me. It is important that I keep the consistency up and every time I get the chance to play, give it my all and show the manager what I am about.”

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