Chelsea FC star Christian Pulisic doubtful for Aston Villa clash in Carabao Cup, says Thomas Tuchel

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Chelsea FC star Christian Pulisic doubtful for Aston Villa clash in Carabao Cup, says Thomas Tuchel
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Christian Pulisic is unlikely to make his return from injury in Chelsea’s midweek Carabao Cup tie against Aston Villa, manager Thomas Tuchel has confirmed.

The former Borussia Dortmund winger missed Sunday’s 3-0 Premier League London derby win over Tottenham and the start of Chelsea’s Champions League title defence against Russian outfit Zenit St Petersburg last week after suffering another fitness setback on international duty.

Pulisic hurt his left ankle during the USA’s World Cup qualifier against Honduras on September 9 and returned to London for assessment.

The 23-year-old has yet to return to training and remains doubtful for Wednesday night, when in-form Chelsea meet Aston Villa - whom they beat 3-0 in the Premier League following the international break thanks to a brace from record signing Romelu Lukaku - for a place in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup.

Pulisic has endured a frustrating time with injuries since joining Chelsea in a £58million deal back in 2019 and has made just one start across all competitions so far this season, scoring in the 3-0 win over Crystal Palace on opening day.

He also replaced the injured Hakim Ziyech just before half-time in the dramatic Uefa Super Cup win over Villarreal in Belfast.

"I think for Christian the game against Villa is maybe a bit too close. I hope I'm wrong but this is my impression," Tuchel said after the win over Spurs.

"He's not in training so far but let's see tomorrow. Maybe if he had a good progression today ... it's possible. It would be super nice for us to have him but for me it's a bit doubtful."

Chelsea’s only other injury concern at present is first-choice goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, who missed the defeat of Tottenham after sustaining a knock in a heavy collision against Zenit.

Christian Pulisic has endured a tough time with injuries since joining Chelsea (Getty Images)
Christian Pulisic has endured a tough time with injuries since joining Chelsea (Getty Images)

Kepa Arrizabalaga deputised for the Senegal international on Sunday, keeping a clean sheet as Tuchel’s title contenders bounced back from registering zero first-half shots to win comfortably courtesy of efforts from Thiago Silva, influential half-time substitute N’Golo Kante and Antonio Rudiger.

"It was an incident from the last minutes in the game against Zenit," Tuchel said of Mendy’s absence.

"Edou got a huge hit and we tried everything in the last days but he never felt fully comfortable in diving and getting another hit on it.

"Yesterday in training we decided if a miracle doesn't happen overnight then we let Kepa play."

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