Chelsea news: N’Golo Kante and Thiago Silva out of trip to Brighton after suffering fresh injury blows

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  • Chelsea
    Chelsea
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  • Thiago Emiliano da Silva
    Thiago Emiliano da Silva
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  • Thomas Tuchel
    German association football manager and former player
 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

N’Golo Kante and Thiago Silva are both set to miss Chelsea’s game with Brighton Wednesday to add to Thomas Tuchel’s concerns over his squad’s ability to handle the Christmas schedule.

The German has called for the re-introduction of five substitutes in the wake of the spread of Omicron, which has seen a host of Chelsea players ruled out in recent weeks.

And after Sunday’s 3-1 win against Aston Villa, he confirmed Kante and Silva suffered injuries that are likely to keep them out for at least the next game.

Worryingly, Kante suffered a repeat of the knee injury that saw him miss six games over the past month. Silva hurt his hamstring, with both players having to be substituted in the second-half.

Tuchel said: “It is only two days until Brighton. From today to Wednesday is a very short time.

“N’Golo is very painful in exactly the same spot where he had his injury versus Juventus. It is exactly the same spot.

“Thiago is [his] hamstring. Hopefully he went out before it became an injury and from there we try to continue and find a new squad and a strong squad on Wednesday.”

Such are Chelsea’s injury and Covid-19 problems right now that both Romelu Lukaku and Callum Hudson-Odoi were risked, despite advice from club doctors.

Lukaku came on at half-time to turn the game – scoring one and winning a late penalty.

Tuchel said: “The last time he started for us was in October and that was not because of quality or because we have any doubts that we are better without him starting.

 (PA)
(PA)

“He was simply unlucky to get injured and then after his injury, while he was struggling to come back in the schedule that we have, he caught Covid so he had again 10 days and suffered from symptoms.

“Now we put him on the pitch for 45 minutes, which was more than the fitness and medical department recommended for him, but we thought we can take the risk and be more offensive with him.

“I am happy, of course, that it went well for today. Let’s see now how the reaction is and how he adapts from here.”

Hudson-Odoi has also just returned from Covid and Tuchel added: “I think he was brilliant today and we forced him. Normally it was clear he plays one half to the maximum of 60 minutes.

“This was already more than the recommendation of the fitness department, but he was strong in training so I wanted to have him on the pitch.

“Hakim Ziyech has only [had] one training session, Callum had two and a half. So we decided to put him in. He was involved. He overcame some obstacles today and some adversity. It was a big game, a very important game from him. It was also a risk because he only just came back from Covid.”

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