Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Tuchel optimistic over Abraham fitness for Southampton clash

SoccerNews in English Premier League 19 Feb 2021

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Thomas Tuchel is optimistic Tammy Abraham will be in the squad for Chelsea’s trip to Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday.

Abraham had been a major doubt for the visit to St Mary’s Stadium after suffering an ankle injury in Monday’s 2-0 win over Newcastle United.

But Tuchel, who has overseen five wins on the bounce in all competitions, revealed the striker would train on Friday with a view to being involved at the weekend, along with Kai Havertz.

However, the match will come too soon for Thiago Silva (muscle problem) and Christian Pulisic may miss out with a calf issue.

“We are very happy that Tammy is good and free for training,” said Tuchel. “If things go well then he is in the squad.

“Thiago will be out for the game, he’s not ready. And we have some issues with Christian Pulisic’s calf, it feels tight.

“There’s a big question mark for Christian. Kai Havertz is back in training and can join the squad.”

The victory against the Magpies saw Timo Werner end his long goal drought, which stretched back to November 7.

The former RB Leipzig forward had set up the opener for Olivier Giroud and doubled the lead by scoring for the first time in 1,000 minutes and after a run of 31 unsuccessful attempts.

Tuchel insists he never lost faith in his fellow German and expects the 24-year-old to continue to grow in confidence, having initially impressed under Frank Lampard.

“Everybody has a right to their own opinion,” he said, with Werner having been involved in more Premier League goals this season than any other Chelsea player (10 – five goals, five assists). 

“I think Timo had a very good start and very clinical, efficient under Frank. I could not see any problem.

“Frank was a big reason for Timo to join the club. Like every player, a change of club, culture and environment takes its time. 

“I can only speak on how I feel Timo; I feel Timo day by day gaining confidence.

“For me, without a doubt, [I knew] Timo would come back and he has the quality to play in more than one position.”

The Blues tend to enjoy trips to the south coast, where they have suffered only two defeats in the past 28 visits, although one of those was against the Saints in 2013.

Tuchel, whose 13-point return from his first five Premier League games at the Chelsea helm is bettered only by Carlo Ancelotti and Maurizio Sarri (15), will be hoping to emulate the former by winning his opening three top-flight away fixtures in charge.

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