EPL

Lukaku and Werner to miss Chelsea's next two games, confirms Tuchel

By Sports Desk October 22, 2021

Thomas Tuchel has confirmed Chelsea will be without Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner for at least the next two matches.

Club-record signing Lukaku was injured by a tackle from Lasse Nielsen that resulted in a penalty Jorginho confidently dispatched to add to Andreas Christensen's opener in Wednesday's 4-0 thrashing of Malmo in the Champions League.

Kai Havertz replaced Lukaku and scored Chelsea's third before playing a role in another spot-kick for the Blues converted by Jorginho, though Chelsea also lost Werner to a hamstring injury.  

Chelsea face the Premier League's bottom side Norwich City on Saturday, before going up against Southampton in the EFL Cup on Tuesday.

Though Tuchel refused to put a definitive timescale on the return of his two first-choice strikers, the former Paris Saint-Germain boss revealed neither will play a part in the two games.

"They're both out for tomorrow, all three of them are out for tomorrow," Tuchel told a news conference, also referring to Christian Pulisic, who has been out since suffering an ankle injury while on international duty in September.

"No big news, for Romelu and Timo the thing I can say is they are out tomorrow and the Southampton game and from there we will see what's next.

"I don't think it makes any sense to speculate how long it will be. The fact is you never know, things can be shorter or longer than expected. The one thing I can tell you for sure is both are in treatment, both are positive but are out for the next two games for sure."

Tuchel's decision to play Lukaku against Malmo has been questioned, with the striker having recently left Belgium's Nations League Finals camp early due to muscle fatigue.

With Chelsea's fixtures before the next international break comparatively kind - trips to Newcastle United and Malmo follow the Southampton match, before a home game with Burnley on November 6 - Tuchel was asked if Lukaku's enforced break had come at a good time.

"No, never a good thing, honestly never a good thing," Tuchel continued.

"Mentally, he was a bit overplayed, like other players in our squad, but that does not mean we have to rest them. Jorginho and Mason Mount are in the same spot but they played a fantastic match, so it is like this, they played a lot of competitions with a lot of enthusiasm and personal targets.

"It was not a muscle injury, it was an accident. It is just some percentage, don't underestimate the effort these players go through. 

"If you constantly turn the wheel, and the guy wants to turn it, take the responsibility, you can get tired. These little things can make a difference."

Chelsea allowed three forwards, Tammy Abraham, Olivier Giroud and Michy Batshuayi to leave in the last transfer window, but Tuchel has no regrets over that decision.

"You cannot keep a squad of 40 players," he added. "If you think Oli, Tammy and Michy would be in the perfect shape now, but hadn't made it into the 20-man squad, then would they be in the perfect shape?

"Of course in theory it would be like this, but [not] in real life. Nobody wants this to happen, it's a bit of bad luck that we have two injured players in the same position, we have to find solutions, there is no worry about the decisions."

Related items

  • 'These games can define things' - Rodrygo targeting World Cup glory with Brazil 'These games can define things' - Rodrygo targeting World Cup glory with Brazil

    Rodrygo has his sights set on World Cup glory with Brazil later this year following his call-up to the squad.

    The Real Madrid winger has been selected by Tite for his nation's qualifiers against Ecuador and Paraguay this week.

    The Selecao, who sit top of the CONMEBOL qualifying table, are already guaranteed a place in Qatar having collected 35 points from their opening 13 matches. 

    Rodrygo has three senior caps to his name and knows the upcoming games present an opportunity for him to stake his claim to appear at the finals, and helping Brazil claim a sixth World Cup triumph – and first since 2002 – tops his priority list for this calendar year.

    "It is very important for me to be [back in the] Brazil [squad]," he said in quotes reported on Marca via TNT Brazil.

    "It was a goal to return to [the] Brazil [squad]. I think these games can define things, and I hope to play and settle in the national team.

    "All Brazilians want to be in Qatar. I'm going to work to try to be there. If I play well, I have a chance [to go].

    "[If I had to choose a title to win in 2022, I'd say] the World Cup."

    Rodrygo has made 17 appearances for Madrid in LaLiga this season, with 11 of those coming as a substitute – the same as Luka Jovic – with none of his team-mates appearing from the bench more often. 

    He has had more joy in the Champions League however, scoring in victories over Inter and Shakhtar Donetsk.

    The 21-year-old has attempted 16 dribbles in Europe's premier competition this term, with Vinicius Junior (36) the only Los Blancos player to top that.

    Rodrygo will hope to be involved again as Carlo Ancelotti's side face Paris Saint-Germain in the round of 16, and he is excited by the prospect of lining up against one of his compatriots.

    "This game could have come a bit later [in the competition]," he added.

    "They have some of the best players in the world. We know it's difficult, but it's a collective effort that will give us the chance to go through.

    "Playing against Neymar will be special. I hope Real Madrid win."

  • BREAKING NEWS: Martial seals Man Utd exit with Sevilla loan BREAKING NEWS: Martial seals Man Utd exit with Sevilla loan

    Anthony Martial will play the remainder of the 2021-22 season on loan in LaLiga with Sevilla after falling out of favour at Manchester United.

    France international Martial has reportedly taken a pay cut to join the Andalusian club, who it is said will pay €6million for salary and a loan fee combined.

    United interim boss Ralf Rangnick revealed last month that Martial had asked to leave the club in January after struggling for first-team football following a return from injury.

    Rangnick then claimed in the wake of United's 2-2 Premier League draw with Aston Villa that Martial was not with the squad because he "didn't want" to be involved – the forward refuted those claims.

    While Rangnick drew a line under the situation, he hinted United were negotiating exits for several players ahead of the transfer deadline, and Sevilla's tactic of playing the long game has paid off.

    LaLiga's second-placed side were linked with Martial last month, but reports suggested they could not get anywhere near the player's wage demands, and United were seemingly unwilling to lower their own demands.

    But a breakthrough in negotiations has seen the clubs reach an agreement that Sevilla will hope significantly boosts their chances in LaLiga's title race.

    After 22 matches played, Sevilla are just four points behind leaders Real Madrid.

    Throughout January, they have been linked with forwards due to injuries and a general lack of goals scored – their 34 in LaLiga is the fewest of those in the top four and 13 behind Madrid's tally.

    Rafa Mir is their top scorer in the league despite a fairly underwhelming total of six in 20 appearances, with the pre-season arrival from Wolves struggling to pick up the slack for Youssef En-Nesyri, who has been absent through injury and Africa Cup of Nations duty.

    Sevilla will hope Martial can hit the ground running after the international break, but he may be lacking match sharpness given he has played the full 90 minutes of a game once all season and has played just eight minutes of football since Rangnick's first match in charge in early December.

  • Morocco 2-1 Malawi: Hakimi stunner sends Atlas Lions through to AFCON quarter-finals Morocco 2-1 Malawi: Hakimi stunner sends Atlas Lions through to AFCON quarter-finals

    Morocco booked their place in the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals as Achraf Hakimi's stunning free-kick sealed a 2-1 win over Malawi.

    The Paris Saint-Germain full-back struck 20 minutes from time at Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo after Youssef En-Nesyri cancelled out Gabadinho Mhango's magnificent early effort.

    After scraping through Group B in third place, Malawi were making their first appearance in the AFCON knockout stages.

    The Flames took a surprise lead in the seventh minute, Mhango catching Yassine Bounou off his line with a wonderful 40-yard lob.

    Morocco had only lost one of their previous 11 games when facing an opponent in the competition for the first time.

    Vahid Halilhodzic's side equalised in first-half stoppage time as En-Nesyri headed home from Selim Amallah's deep cross.

    The contest looked possibly set for extra time until Hakimi emphatically beat Charles Thomu from 30 yards to send his nation through to the last eight, where they will face Ivory Coast or Egypt.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.