The Blues are without two players for the trip to Anfield but they will at least see one England international join up with the group
Thomas Tuchel has delivered an update on how he sees Tammy Abraham’s future at Chelsea after confirming the striker will miss Thursday’s game at Liverpool.
Abraham was not selected in the squad for the 0-0 draw with Manchester United on Sunday, despite being fit, but now sits out the Anfield game with a minor ankle problem.
Thiago Silva has been pictured back in training ahead of the fixture, but he won’t travel after not completing his latest session, although Callum Hudson-Odoi is available after coming off at half-time against United.
What has Tuchel said?
“Callum is no issue at all; he was training fully with the team yesterday,” Tuchel told reporters. “Thiago made his first training with the team but did not finish the last exercise – not due to any pain or anything, just to be aware of not taking a risk.
“I assume he is in training today but he is not at 100 per cent, so he will not join the squad for Liverpool. Tammy had some problems yesterday on the ankle again, so let’s see how this works out.”
Does Tuchel rate Tammy Abraham?
The decision to leave Abraham out of Chelsea’s squad against United raised a few eyebrows, especially as he remains the club’s top scorer with 12 goals this season in all competitions.
Tuchel explained how, even when Abraham is fit, he could leave the England striker out of his squad.
“I think so, and this is my job to push him to his limits,” said Tuchel. “We will not stop doing this in supporting him. This was a tough decision, but when things are like now, with hopefully nobody injured, we have these decisions to make.
“It’s a part of my job which I do not like, but at the same time I like because it means we have everybody available. And then you have to make these decisions, which we normally communicate clearly.
“We have to cut it down to 18 players, so in the end it’s not always a punishment or a signal to a player who is not in the squad, and in this case, it was exactly like this.
“It was not a punishment or a signal. It was just a choice from the alternatives, on which position, who starts, who could come from the bench. He lacks a little bit of luck, Tammy, not only in games but also in training.
“Once the last touch comes back, and he’s fighting for it now, he will stay a player that we will push for.”
What’s the bigger picture of Liverpool vs Chelsea?
Chelsea and Liverpool are amongst a host of clubs between second-place Manchester United and 10th place Arsenal who are fighting for a top-four finish and Champions League football for next season.
Qualifying ensures a huge windfall of television money which can then be factored into transfers, while the competition also adds prestige to each team involved.
Liverpool are currently in sixth place and one position behind Chelsea. Both teams are chasing spots occupied by United, Leicester and West Ham.