Chelsea have been dealt two further fitness concerns ahead of Wednesday’s Premier League clash with Brighton & Hove Albion at Stamford Bridge.
Thiago Silva and the luckless N’Golo Kante both went off injured in the Boxing Day win over Aston Villa, with the pair joining Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ben Chilwell in the infirmary.
There is slight hope that Loftus-Cheek may be passed fit for this battle, but doubts linger over the availability of COVID-affected pair Kai Havertz and Timo Werner.
Cesar Azpilicueta will eye an immediate recall to the back three given Silva’s injury, and the short turnaround means that Andreas Christensen can also feel hopeful of displacing Trevoh Chalobah.
While another injury to Kante is a bitter blow, Mateo Kovacic has made a timely return to fitness, and the Croatian may now be deemed ready for a start alongside the ever-present Jorginho.
Reece James and Marcos Alonso seem set to hold their places out wide, unless Tuchel throws a curveball by starting Saul Niguez in a wing-back role.
With Callum Hudson-Odoi playing longer than advised after his recent recovery from coronavirus, it would not be surprising to see Hakim Ziyech join Mason Mount in the final third.
Romelu Lukaku was another player who featured for longer than expected, but the Belgian will surely push for a starting place here either way.
Chelsea possible starting lineup: Mendy; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger; James, Jorginho, Kovacic, Alonso; Ziyech, Mount; Lukaku