Team News: Chelsea could be without Romelu Lukaku and Hakim Ziyech for the Southampton clash
Speaking ahead of the clash against Southampton, as quoted by Football London, Blues boss Thomas Tuchel has revealed that Romelu Lukaku and Hakim Ziyech are injury doubts for the clash against Southampton today.
The two Blues players join Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ben Chilwell on Chelsea’s injury list as Tuchel looks to arrest the slump his side is suffering and get a favourable result against the Saints after back to back losses against Brentford and Real Madrid.
Both Hakim Ziyech and Romelu Lukaku have had contrasting features at the Bridge this season. The Belgian, who moved to Chelsea from Inter Milan back in the summer, has struggled to adapt to life in the PL once again. Despite starting off fairly well, his form has fallen off a cliff and struggles to find a regular place in the starting 11.
The 28-year-old striker missed a sitter against Los Blancos last week in the Champions League which would have seen the Blues reduce their deficit by one goal. Ziyech, on the other hand, has been in sensational form of late.
After having a mixed first season riddled with injuries, the Moroccan has managed to break into Tuchel’s system and has shown his quality time and again this season. Tuchel revealed that both players are doubts for today’s clash as Chelsea look to strengthen their hold on the top-4 spot.
“I don’t hope so. Callum Hudson-Odoi is still out and we have doubts with Romelu Lukaku and Hakim Ziyech”
How big of a miss?
Kai Havertz has been exceptional for the Blues playing in the striker role of late and perhaps Lukaku may not have started the game even if he was fit. Although even in that situation, the former Manchester United striker would have been a great option to bring off the bench late on.
Hakim Ziyech, on the other hand, is perhaps a player that may have been a shoo-in for a starting place if he was not sidelined. The winger has been solid for Chelsea and his loss could hurt the club. However, there are enough and more options for Tuchel to select from which would be a relief.
Ziyech and Lukaku are not expected to be out for long. However, the Blues still have Ben Chilwell and Callum Hudson-Odoi on the injury list. While the left-back is expected to be out for the rest of the season, Hudson-Odoi’s return date is not known.
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Irrespective of the form and prominence in the team, Tuchel will be hoping to have his players fit as it will give him more options to choose from. With respect to Ziyech and Lukaku, it’s better to not risk them today as they might be needed next week as Chelsea look to overturn a 3-1 deficit and progress to the Champions League quarter-finals.
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