Chelsea squad update, as the club look forward to facing an in-form Newcastle side
Chelsea are set to welcome Newcastle United today at Stamford Bridge to continue their unbeaten run in the last 4 Premier League games, expecting to make it 5 in a row. Newcastle United are also enjoying their recent change in form after remaining unbeaten in every Premier League game they have played since the end of December, in order to move away from the relegation zone. We will evaluate the Chelsea squad situation ahead of today’s fixture below.
Chelsea have had little rest since their last game against Norwich City that was played on Thursday. They have a punishing schedule with a Champions League fixture coming up on Wednesday again, just 2 days following today’s game.
The Blues are in constant turmoil regarding the Roman Abramovich situation, leaving the club in a precarious position. It was commendable how the team managed to overcome the troubling news of the club manager being sanctioned, moments before the kick-off.
They went on to win the game, with goals from Trevoh Chalobah, Mason Mount and Kai Havertz and managed to secure three points from the game, maintaining their stronghold on the 3rd place in the Premier League.
Meanwhile, Newcastle United are coming into the game sitting at 14th in the table, 10 points clear from the bottom 3 and just 4 points behind Southampton.
Chelsea squad update:
Chelsea will be missing their wing-back duo, Ben Chilwell and Reece James, who recently suffered another physical setback (muscular issue) after just coming back from a long downtime as a result of an injury he sustained in December. The two are guaranteed absentees for today’s clash.
Cesar Azpilicueta and Christian Pulisic are doubtful due to illness. Callum Hudson Odoi‘s availability is also uncertain as the player is suffering from an Achilles injury. Marcos Alonso might also miss the game due to covid-19.
The lack of options at the back will force Thomas Tuchel into a tactical reshuffle. Andreas Christensen will likely fill up Cesar Azpilicueta’s position and Malang Sarr can take up on Alonso’s role, in case he doesn’t start.
Newcastle’s squad news:
Eddie Howe, on the other side, has no reason to switch from his current formation as it has fared the team well in their last many fixtures.
However, there are still doubts around the availability of some players that the manager will have to contend with.
Allan Saint-Maximin, although missing the last game on Thursday, could likely feature a start against the Blues today but his selection in the starting XI still remains unclear.
Joelinton, absent from the last game as well, is also likely to return. Emil Krafth, Callum Wilson and Kieran Trippier will reportedly miss today’s game.
Considering Chelsea’s off-pitch woes, it has become extremely necessary for the club to set an example of resilience in front of the world.
The pressure will be on Thomas Tuchel to ensure the players’ focus remains on winning games as they hope to maintain their position in the top 4.
The Blues are the favourites to win with Kai Havertz showcasing exceptional form, solving Chelsea’s striker issues. Saul Niguez and Trevoh Chalobah are also growing in stature.
As long as the players continue to not let the off-pitch issues wound their psyche, they can still manage to bring home another silverware.
WATCH: Rudiger with a towering header from a corner to double our lead at the Bernabeu!
Champions League: Chelsea head to Real Madrid for quarter-final second leg as defense hangs in balance
Chelsea 3-1 down ahead of their Champions League quarter-final second leg at Real Madrid; Man City take a slender one-goal advantage to Atletico Madrid on Wednesday; Liverpool have one foot in semi-finals after 3-1 win over Benfica in first leg; Villarreal take 1-0 lead to Bayern Munich
WE’RE LEVEL ON AGGREGATE! Rudiger with a towering header from a corner to double our lead at the Bernabeu!
Click the Link: https://streamff.com/v/1e2bcd
Chelsea have tied it. Rudiger with the header. We got ourselves a game. pic.twitter.com/XmJzKITZCz
— Barstool Football (@StoolFootball) April 12, 2022
Real Madrid 0-2 Chelsea | GOAL! Rudiger.
— All Goals. (@AllGoals_) April 12, 2022
“The tie is not alive” – Thomas Tuchel visibly frustrated after punishingly harsh Real Madrid defeat
Chelsea’s wretched form post two-week international break continued on Wednesday as they fell 1-3 at Stamford Bridge in the first-leg of Champions League quarter-finals. Looking back at the last two clashes, there are more reasons for concern than optimism, especially considering the frequency of Chelsea men’s individual errors, that can potentially leave Chelsea’s dreams of European glory in tatters. Chelsea boss, Thomas Tuchel was seen visibly frustrated during the post match interview, following his side’s dismal run of conceding 7 home goals in just two games.
‘It is a heavy loss,’ admitted Thomas Tuchel.
‘It was one of the worst first halves that I saw from us here at Stamford Bridge. At this kind of level you cannot play like this individually or as a team.
‘From all of us, we were by far not good enough, we were not doing what we are used to doing. The first half was so far from any standards that we set ourselves.’
Yesterday’s game was the most dramatic example of one player single-handedly steering his team to victory. Karim Benzema bullied the Blues to the brink of Champions League exit with a sublime hat-trick, his second of this year’s Champions League campaign.
Chelsea desperately sought to make a statement of intent in the first-half through a creative and aggressive Reece James, who Tuchel positioned very high up the pitch so as to benefit from his incredible dribbling and crossing. However, this tactical decision was laced with risk as it left Christensen isolated in the centre against Vinicius and Benzema, costing them back-to-back goals from the Frenchman in the space of 3 minutes.
Thomas Tuchel on Andreas Christensen's struggles vs Vinicius Jr:
"Yes, my mistake."
— Absolute Chelsea (@AbsoluteChelsea) April 6, 2022
Thomas Tuchel explained the reasons behind Chelsea’s struggling first-half;
‘Everything went wrong in the first half. It was not only about when we pass, how we pass. It was also the intensity in challenges and the desire.
‘In the second half I think we had 16 shots to one shot. You can always come back and equalise but if you concede again after 48 minutes it is harder and harder. Still, we had chances in the second half to make it 3-2 and this could have been crucial but not today.’
Kai Havertz’s header before the half-time only proved to be a mere consolation as a dreadful Mendy error within a minute of the restart allowed Banzema to capitalise on the blunder and claim the matchball, re-establishing his side’s 2-goal lead, making the scoreline 1-3.
Displeased with his team’s display, missed opportunities, expensive misjudgements and even his own decisions regarding tactical rotation and substitutions, Thomas Tuchel said;
‘We wanted to change the formation and to turn things around because I think personally there was enough where we could hurt them but we were so far off our level in everything the game demands – tactically, individually, in shape.
‘We tried to play in a new formation but we killed the game off with a big mistake after three minutes. It was a tactical change and like always it’s never on one or two players, it’s on all of us and I’m included in this.’
He also added:
‘We have to find our level back. I don’t know where it is since the international break but the first half today was a repetition of the second half against Brentford.
‘In a quarter-final against Real Madrid, you cannot expect a result from this kind of performance.’
When asked about Chelsea’s future matches and if a tie-overturn was still a possibility according to him, Thomas Tuchel replied;
‘The tie is not alive with this performance. How many clubs in worldwide football won with a three-goal difference? It’s only realistic to answer like this so we shouldn’t think I’m giving the wrong message. We need to find our competitive spirit, our quality, and then we can talk.
‘I worry more about Southampton than Real Madrid in the next week, that’s my focus. We have to get things ready for Saturday and not think about the Bernabeu because on Saturday we face Southampton and if we continue to play like this, we will not get a point.
‘I think this is very important to process this first, it is crucial. We have to make sure everybody processes this.’
Thomas Tuchel on being unhappy:
"What do you expect, to stand here and smile? No we don't have to go to Madrid, we go to Southampton. This is very important and crucial to go there. I will make sure everybody processes this."
— Absolute Chelsea (@AbsoluteChelsea) April 6, 2022
Real Madrid stole a commanding lead in the Champions League quarter-final first-leg against Chelsea, leaving them a mountain to climb in the return leg at Santiago Bernabeu.
WATCH: Thiago Silva’s wife, Belle, triggered by commentator’s indiscreet remark on her husband
Thiago Silva’s wife, Belle, was left furious after a commentator criticised the defender’s performance during Chelsea’s shock defeat to Brentford on Saturday, a game that was hosted at Stamford Bridge.
She rushed to defend her husband, taking to her Instagram and making her feelings known over the said incident.
The criticism of any kind is basically challenging someone’s ability, which is why in response to feeling judged, anyone would recoil. When it comes to sports, particularly punditry and especially commentary, criticism and harsh analysis have become a firm premise of the football way of life.
An example of one such case was highlighted on Saturday as a TV commentator, who was covering the Chelsea v Brentford fixture live, singled out the blues centre-back, Thiago Silva, making a scapegoat of him and criticising his lack of attacking, inevitably attributing the loss to his perceived flaws, rather indirectly.
Despite the stellar opening goal from Rüdiger, Chelsea failed to maintain their lead and went on to concede 4 goals from the bottom-table side. Such an underwhelming and abysmal display of footballing ability left the players unable to keep their heads held high and made them a subject of criticisim from pundits, commentators, and fans as well.
Thiago Silva’s wife, who is known for her very active social media presence and for publicly voicing her opinions, didn’t appreciate the slander and reacted aggressively to the judgment that was passed on her husband. Here’s what she posted on her story;
Belle Silva very assertively defended her husband’s reputation against the commentator overstating Silva’s lack of forward presence and demanded that her husband should be allowed some leeway in his performance as he had just returned from international duty with Brazil.
“Respect him, he’s not a machine. He needs to relax, alright?”, said Belle.
Being outclassed by a team with hallmarks of a struggling club is stressful enough but then having your name being pronounced as someone lacking effort despite your commendable record at the club will certainly call for repurcussions.
Thiago Silva responded to the loss in his own social media message that read;
Good days make you happy. Bad days bring you experience. Both are essential for life.Happiness makes you good, but troubles make you strong. Pain keeps you human, falls keep you humble.Success keeps you bright, but only GOD keeps you standing (Denzel Washington). WE keep going 👊🏽 pic.twitter.com/V6pI7md9QL
— Thiago Silva (@tsilva3) April 2, 2022
There’s a growing need for commentators to realise that they are in a position of great responsibility, considering their opinions reach millions of people. Therefore, they need to be conscious of their harsh and/or critical analyses that could potentially put the players in a negative light, making them an easy target for abuse.