Chelsea have suffered a big double injury blow in the days running up to their clash against London rivals West Ham United on Sunday at Stamford Bridge.
“They [Mateo Kovacic and Antonio Rudiger] will not be back for Sunday,” Thomas Tuchel said at his pre-match press conference. West Ham United will pay a visit to the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.Advertisement
“There have been no new injuries, on the other hand.”
Kovacic was pulled out of Wednesday’s shambolic 4-2 defeat to Arenal after sustaining an ankle ligament injury in the FA Cup semi-final victory over Crystal Palace over the weekend.
As for Rudiger, the German defender was also absent from the Blues’ most recent setback due to a groyne injury, and Tuchel said earlier this week that he would be unlikely to play any part against David Moyes’ side.
It will come as a tremendous shock to the former Paris Saint-Germain head coach to learn that two of his top players would be out from this weekend’s match, despite the fact that there are no new injuries to contend with.
To be specific, Tuchel recently said that Kovacic was “essential” to everything the West London club accomplishes, both on and off the field, during the course of a season’s worth of football action.
The omission of the 27-year-old from the starting XI, according to Adam Newson of the London Evening Standard, was a common denominator in the club’s recent home defeats to Brentford, Real Madrid, and the Arsenal, among other teams.
According to Football Focus, the former Inter Milan midfielder has been in fantastic form in the centre of the park so far this season, with his 7.26 average match rating placing sixth among the Blues’ roster and also the highest rating among the current generation of central midfielders.
When it comes to his ability to be productive both in and out of possession, as SofaScore points out, it is his ability to be effective both in and out of possession that Tuchel’s side will miss the most. With 2.2 tackles per game and 62 percent of his duels won in defence, the midfielder, who is valued at £40.5 million by Bayern Munich, has supplied five assists and completed 1.6 dribbles a game during his loan spell with the Bundesliga club.
With his current form having led to him being referred to as “simply brilliant” by Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville, his supporters seem to be hopeful that he would be let back into the game at the earliest opportunity, considering the size of his impact.
To be sure, Rudiger, who was previously dubbed “the most dominating centre-back in the league” by Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand, has had an excellent start to the season as well, with the former Roma player enjoying a good campaign to far.
Despite the constant speculation about his future, the £100k per week star has maintained his high level of performance, averaging 1.35 tackles and 2.6 clearances per game in his 28 Premier League appearances so far this season — all of which have come as starts — so far this season, despite the constant speculation about his future.
While he was away from the club in midweek, Tuchel was left reeling by a series of defensive mistakes by his players, and talkSPORT expert Dean Saunders slammed both Malang Sarr and Andreas Christensen for their awful displays.
However, now that his injury has been confirmed, players like as Jarrod Bowen and Michail Antonio will almost certainly be licking their lips in anticipation of his return to action this weekend to aid the squad in getting back on track.
It is yet unclear how much Chelsea will suffer as a result of the departure of two of their most significant players when the match goes place on Sunday.