The Blues will face Everton at Stamford Bridge on Thursday night, and while that match is still scheduled to take place, Chelsea’s pre-match plans were severely disrupted.
Chelsea has joined the tally of Premier League teams affected by positive COVID-19 tests, and three other senior stars at Stamford Bridge have contracted coronavirus, according to GOAL.
At present, the Blues clash with Wolves on Sunday 19 December is still poised to go ahead, but that situation is fluid given that now the Premier League has postponed half of the matchday 18 roster.
Having to rearrange matches is the last thing Chelsea need at this stage as the games are intense and fast for Thomas Tuchel’s team across multiple competitions.
Chelsea’s COVID-19 situation
While it appeared the club escaped further trouble when Mateo Kovacic tested positive a week ago and no one else was affected, that is no longer the case.
Three prominent players in West London have been forced to isolate themselves, leaving Tuchel with no options. Everyone who will not be taking part in the upcoming outings has been in contact with the rest of the Chelsea squad, with a full training session completed on Wednesday, leaving the rest of the squad possibly exposed.
Tuchel was reportedly set to include two of those players for the home date against Everton, but has seen his pre-match planning in disarray.
After the line-ups for Thursday’s game against Everton were released, it was confirmed that Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ben Chilwell tested positive, while Kai Havertz was unwell. With those absences, Chelsea was left to play American forward Christian Pulisic as center forward, and had no attacking players available on the bench.
At Stamford Bridge: Chelsea confirmed that Lukaku, Werner, Hudson-Odoi and Chilwell tested positive for Covid while Havertz is unwell.
– Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) December 16, 2021
Pulisic previously tested positive for COVID-19 in August and has recovered, but given his participation in the game against Everton, it is presumed that he is not among those affected by this outbreak.
Chelsea’s women’s team was also affected by the outbreak, as Ann-Katrin Berger and Drew Spence produced positive tests. It’s unclear what, if any, contact the two squads have had recently, or if all squads at Cobham training ground are separated from each other.
What happens now to Chelsea after the COVID cases?
With Thursday’s game given the go-ahead, it looks like things are relatively contained for now, but there’s a lot to navigate between Everton’s game and the rest of the festive period.
Fans attending games at Stamford Bridge should read the following information following the Premier League confirmation requirements for all fans attending games. ⤵️
– Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) December 16, 2021
Kovacic, also dealing with a calf injury, was already set to stay out of the meeting with the Toffees along with Chilwell, who remains out of the game for a time with a knee injury. N’Golo Kante is returning to the Blues fold, but the World Cup-winning midfielder is not yet ready to go and will only be fit enough to get on the bench against Everton.
Tuchel will have to be creative in his selection, with little opportunity to rest and rotate at this point.
Chelsea will return to Premier League action on Sunday 19 December against Wolves, before facing Brentford in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals before Christmas. Boxing Day will be held at Aston Villa, while Brighton will be held at Stamford Bridge on December 29 and Liverpool on January 2.
Chelsea will then open their FA Cup campaign to 2021-22, while the current holders of the Champions League crown have also had to include the FIFA Club World Cup on their calendar for February.
There have been calls for English football to be shut down for a short period of time until the numbers of coronavirus cases begin to decline, but relevant authorities have received no word that such an approach will be taken as clubs across the world. country face. hectic workloads.