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Chelsea Injury Round-Up and Predicted XI: Tuchel confirms the unavailability of two crucial playmakers for the West Ham fixture 

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Chelsea injury round-up: Chelsea’s injury toll mounts as the blues yet again suffer significant injury blows in the form of Mateo Kovačić and Antonio Rüdiger, both of whom are ruled out of action for today’s London Derby.

The number of players restricted to the sidelines now total up to four, including the long-term absentees; Ben Chilwell and Callum Hudson-Odoi, whereas there remains question over the fitness of Andreas Christensen.

Chelsea’s humbling 4-2 home defeat to Arsenal on Wednesday means the Blues are now on course to record their worst home season for 29 years, having suffered losses in three out of their last four home games. Thomas Tuchel believes the handicaps hindering Chelsea’s home progress could be boiled down to the reasons motivated by fixture congestion and individual mistakes. He also blamed the Stamford Bridge pitch for their recent downturn in home form, however, on Friday, he backtracked on that.

A significant fine-tuning job is coming up fast on the horizon for the Blues boss, Thomas Tuchel as Chelsea host London rivals, West Ham in the afternoon today, where they will be looking to return to winning ways, putting their unfortunate result of home defeats behind. But, Tuchel is handed a cluster of injury concerns to iron out, going into the game.

Mateo Kovačić – Chelsea’s most influential playmaker – was condemned to a damning ankle ligament damage in the FA Cup semi-final win over Crystal Palace, causing him to remain sidelined for two weeks.

Chelsea injury round-up

Following him was Antonio Rüdiger, who was left out of Chelsea’s squad to face Arsenal after falling to a groin injury. Thomas Tuchel revealed the defender is still restricted to the sidelines and will be unavailable to feature in today’s game.

Chelsea injury round-up

“For Sunday, both of them [Kovacic and Rudiger] are not back, but there are no other new injuries”. – Tuchel briefed while talking to the media at Cobham.

Andreas Christensen’s availability stands uncertain after he was forced off injured at half-time in the midweek game against Arsenal.

Considering Christensen and Romelu Lukaku’s performances being unmistakeably patchy during the recent run-ins, combined with the turbulence of a collection of injury suspensions, Tuchel might be forced to make big changes to his current, favoured system.

Kai Havertz and Thiago Silva seem the likeliest to return to the starting XI. Reece James is expected to reclaim his right wing-back position, partnering with Cesar Azpilicueta. In case Christensen is kept as a reserve, we could see Trevoh Chalobah come into the fold as his replacement, seeing that Malang Sarr is also struggling to maintain a consistent form.

Chelsea Predicted XI:

Mendy; James, Silva, Chalobah, Alonso; Jorginho, Kante, Mount; Werner, Havertz, Pulisic

 

 

 

 

 

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WATCH: Chelsea’s out-of-favour striker Romelu Lukaku scores twice in action-packed second half 🔥

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Romelu Lukaku scores twice v Wolves: Chelsea welcomed Wolverhampton Wanderers to Stamford Bridge tonight in a contest where they were hopeful of reversing their poor run of form to guarantee themselves a Champions League berth.

Despite the Blues receiving two goal scoring opportunities in the first-half of the game, it still ended in a stalemate. However, as the second-half commenced, Romelu Lukaku stepped up to strike twice in quick succession to put Chelsea on a trajectory toward what appeared to be a deserved victory at that time.

Romelu Lukaku scores twice

Lukaku’s goal tally for Chelsea this season has totalled up to 14 now, causing him to become the highest goal scorer for the Blues, just a goal ahead of Kai Havertz. His performance tonight underlines his renewed confidence as he looks to be approaching the sort of form that had deserted him for most of the season. 

Watch how Romelu Lukaku scores twice in quick succession to give Chelsea’s scoreline an uplift:

The first goal came in response to a VAR call for a foul committed by Saiss on Romelu Lukaku as both players were caught up in a tangle on the edge of the penalty area. 

Watch Lukaku’s left-footed penalty here:

The second goal was a Pulisic interception that found Lukaku who then completed the play with an emphatic low finish from the edge of the box with his weaker right foot.

Lukaku wasn’t able to register himself on the scoresheet for Chelsea ever since the start of year 2022 – a daunting prospect for such an expensive striker – however, that record has been laid to rest today as his goals v Wolves have certainly managed to make a statement of his intent.

It’s a shame that a subpar defensive performance from his side overshadowed his monumental return to form. Chelsea were stripped to bone with comeback goals from Wolves that added misery to Chelsea’s hopes of securing a victory. The game ended in an unanticipated 2-2 draw. 

After racking up underwhelming results from their recent run-ins, Chelsea are looking a lot less comfortable in the rough and tumble of Premier League’s top-four now. With the fourth-placed Arsenal and fifth-placed Tottenham breathing down Chelsea’s neck, their margin for error has now decreased to just two points, especially after having picked up only 5 points from a possible 15.

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Official: Todd Boehly’s consortium signs agreement with Chelsea FC to succeed Roman Abramovich

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Chelsea released an official statement in the early hours of Saturday morning confirming that the terms have been agreed with the LA Dodgers’ part-owner Todd Boehly’s consortium to complete the £4.25bn takeover of the club though the acquisition is yet to be approved by the Premier League authorities as well as the UK government.

Todd Boehly's consortium

The statement read:

‘Chelsea Football Club can confirm that terms have been agreed for a new ownership group, led by Todd Boehly, Clearlake Capital, Mark Walter and Hansjoerg Wyss, to acquire the Club’.

Last week, it was revealed that Todd Boehly & Co were Raine Group’s preferred choice to succeed Roman Abramovich following which the group were given one-week window of exclusive negotiations with the club to finalise the takeover. The deal had appeared in doubt due to late interest from Sir Jim Ratcliffe, however, those fears were dissipated as the Ratcliffe bid was later dismissed on account of his inability to complete the sale process by May 31st – the date when Chelsea’s current license expires.

Although the group is fronted by Todd Boehly, private equity firm Clearlake Capital is the one providing the majority of the financial firepower to it. The consortium also includes Swiss billionaire Hansjörg Wyss, Boehly’s fellow LA Dodgers’ owner Mark Walter and the British property developer Jonathan Goldstein.

As per Chelsea’s official statement, the £4.25bn headline sum includes the £2.5bn cost required to secure shares in Chelsea – which will go into a frozen UK bank account for the purpose of releasing 100 per cent of the proceeds to charitable causes – the remaining £1.75bn is the amount the group have committed to invest in the club’s future, covering costs regarding redevelopment projects and ensuring there are sufficient funds in place for operational use.

‘The proposed new owners will commit £1.75bn in further investment for the benefit of the Club. This includes investments in Stamford Bridge, the Academy, the Women’s Team and Kingsmeadow and continued funding for the Chelsea Foundation’.

Few final, obligatory steps remain in the official transfer of ownership of Chelsea Football Club to Todd Boehly’s consortium, one of which requires all group members to complete the Premier League Owners’ and Directors’ Test. Furthermore, Chelsea will have to apply for the amended license from the UK government that would upgrade the club’s operational capacity in addition to allowing the transaction to go ahead. The preparations are underway as the Raine Group wants the sale process to reach its completion as soon as possible.

 

 

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Chelsea team news v Wolverhampton Wanderers: Four players on the injury list, including a midfield duo. 

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Chelsea team news v Wolverhampton Wanderers: Chelsea welcome Wolverhampton Wanderers to Stamford Bridge on Saturday where they will be looking to reverse their poor run of form to guarantee themselves a Champions League berth. There are four player absentees that have been confirmed so far by head coach, Thomas Tuchel, in today’s pre-match conference.

After racking up underwhelming results from their recent run-ins, Chelsea are looking a lot less comfortable in the rough and tumble of Premier League’s top-four now. With the fourth-placed Arsenal and fifth-placed Tottenham breathing down Chelsea’s neck, their margin for error has now decreased to just three points, especially after having picked up only 4 points from a possible 12.

Chelsea team news v Wolverhampton Wanderers: The central midfield duo N’Golo Kante and Jorginho are ruled out of action for tomorrow’s clash as reported by Thomas Tuchel at a press briefing today.

Additionally, the long-term absentees Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ben Chilwell also remain restricted to the sidelines, despite returning to light training.

N’Golo Kante had sustained a knock in the game against Manchester United, consequently missing last weekend’s trip to Everton where his fellow midfielder Jorginho was taken off the pitch at interval.

‘For N’Golo it comes too early. Jorginho is out as well, these two are missing. Callum and Ben Chilwell are still out,’ said the Blues boss.

The duo’s unavailability will give way to introducing Kovačić and most likely RLC in their stead as the latter is currently enjoying an upturn in form.

Chelsea team news v Wolverhampton Wanderers

Mateo Kovačić returned to action as a half-time substitute last weekend after missing a couple games on account of nursing an ankle injury. He stands the highest chance of featuring a start in tomorrow’s game v Wolves.

There is a growing feeling that Tuchel might give Romelu Lukaku a start tomorrow, considering his substitute Kai Havertz is also struggling to find the form that has recently deserted him.

Thomas Tuchel has expressed optimism regarding Lukaku’s reaction in training this week. The Blues boss said;

‘I want him to be an important part of the squad, right now he is very important. There is no recruitment and no players are about to leave because it’s simply not possible,’

‘We need to adapt all the time, to contractual situations and also individual situations, to what we and the players want.

Chelsea team news v Wolverhampton Wanderers

‘We signed a big player, he is a big player. He didn’t come on [at Everton] as we had only three changes, and unfortunately we used one at half-time with Jorginho. Otherwise there was a huge chance we had the same changes as against West Ham, with Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech,’

‘He trained very well, maybe he starts tomorrow, we’ll see.’ 

 

 

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