Chelsea’s chances of keeping the Champions League trophy at Stamford Bridge have been worsened as manager Thomas Tuchel has revealed his squad's injury woes.
The Blues have made a solid start to the 2021/22 campaign with four victories, one draw and one loss, with the defeat coming at the hands of title rivals Manchester City.
Summer signing Romelu Lukaku has hit the floor running on his return to the club after making the £97.5million switch from Inter Milan.
The Belgian striker has scored three goals in five league appearances, as well as scoring the all-important goal in the 1-0 victory over Zenit St. Petersburg in the Champions League.
However, Tuchel’s hopes of winning the trophy have taken a blow as the German manager will be without four regular first-team players for his side's trip to the Allianz Arena to take on Juventus.
Speaking ahead of the match on Wednesday night, Tuchel said: “Christian (Pulisic), Reece (James), Mason (Mount) are out due to injury. Reece’s injury is still very painful, it will come down to pain management in the end. It comes down to how much we can expect. We are looking at a minimum of one more week.”
The other absentee from the game with the Serie A giants is midfielder N’Golo Kante, who has contracted Covid 19 and therefore will have to follow Government rules and quarantine.
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Tuchel was also asked if he knew how many members of his squad are vaccinated, though Kante’s status is unknown, but he did not have a definite answer.
“‘I don’t know, I simply don’t know. We are a reflection of society, the players are adults and they have a free choice,” he said.
He was then asked whether he was promoting the vaccine to his squad, and he commendably replied: “It would be easy to say yes now and get applause from a lot of people. But at the same time do I have the right to say that? I’m not so sure.
“I can make the decision for myself and everyone else has to reflect and take the risk or not. It’s a serious question.
"Vaccination seems to be a proper protection. I am vaccinated. I took the decision for myself. But I don’t really see myself in a position to speak out on proper recommendations. That would go too far. I’m a football coach, not a 100 per cent expert on this. I would leave it to them.”
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