FA Cup third round overall preview: Foxes begin defence
Team news, match stats and how to follow ahead of a bumper weekend of FA Cup third round action as Premier League clubs enter the competition. Selected Saturday third-round tiesKick Off 5.30pm: Chelsea vs ChesterfieldTeam news: Andreas Christensen could return after back trouble to ease Chelsea's defensive issues in Saturday's FA Cup third-round clash with non-league Chesterfield.
Chelsea need to bounce back from dropping points in consecutive Premier League games when they face Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday for a fourth time this season.
The Blues dropped vital points in what is a race for the top four with a loss against Manchester City all but ending their title hopes and a draw against Brighton brought their top four position into question as well.
"We won twice against Tottenham in between [in the Carabao Cup] and had some other tough fixtures. I can't even tell you the last seven games in the league so I have no answer," Tuchel said when asked about recent dip in form.
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Tottenham news: Spurs take on Chelsea this evening, so football.london takes a look at the latest injury news coming out of Antonio Conte's camp ahead of the clashSpurs are trailing 2-0 going into this evening's semi-final second-leg with Chelsea after a disappointing display at Stamford Bridge last week, after goals from Kai Havertz and an own goal from Ben Davies gave the hosts the two-goal advantage.
"So, so badly. You can say it is an excuse or whatever but it's like this. Look at our schedule, when we arrived at Man City we had the Carabao Cup in the week and they did not. Now we arrive here and they have more days to prepare and the whole week before to prepare.
"It's like this. We play since November. We are the team that plays and plays and plays. We need to recharge the batteries, disconnect. This is my feeling and it's why I give the players two days off.
"We will prepare for two days, use Friday and Saturday to prepare for Sunday because we have a game against Tottenham."
And what better chance for Chelsea to respond than against an opponent they have a 100% record against so far this season.
3-0, 2-0 and 1-0 have been the trio of results so far this campaign that the Blues have racked up against their London rivals.
What happened to Chelsea's brilliant starting XI that played the 2017/18 FA Youth Cup final?
Reece James, Billy Gilmour and Conor Gallagher all featured in the cup matchOver half of the Blues starting 11 are now playing for various clubs across the Premier League, including Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Brighton and Norwich.
Spurs come into this game on the back of a 3-2 win at Leicester midweek, so it's all set up to be an intriguing London derby in SW6 on Sunday and with that in mind, football.london takes a look at all the latest injury news ahead of this gameweek 24 clash.
Defender Andreas Christensen has missed Chelsea’s last two games following a positive Covid-19 test last week.
This meant that the defender missed out against Manchester City on Saturday and Brighton on Tuesday, however it is expected that his period of isolation may have ended by the time Spurs visit Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Christensen could well return to the side this weekend, but that will depend on his fitness levels and how well he has recovered from Covid.
What Thomas Tuchel has said ahead of Brighton: “We have one new positive Covid test with Andreas Christensen so he will be out of the game.”
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Chalobah has been nursing an ongoing hamstring injury which got a lot worse in the 2-2 Liverpool draw, so it's no surprise that he's been missing for crucial games against Man City and Brighton most recently.
However, the centre-half is expected to make his return to Chelsea first-team training on Friday football.london understands.
He was able to complete 70 minutes before being replaced but the 22-year-old has been sidelined since. Having rushed Chalobah back from injury in December due to Covid cases in the Chelsea squad, he has this time been given ample time to recover.
What Tuchel has said ahead of Brighton: "No [new injury] news which is good news. Trevoh [Chalobah] will be out.”
Expected return: Tottenham (H) - January 23
It was initially feared that Reece James could be out for the rest of the season but recent updates have provided Tuchel with hope that a new right-wing-back will not be needed for the short-term.
football.london understands that James has stepped up his recovery from a hamstring injury this week.
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Chelsea will be looking to get back to winning ways in the Premier League when they take on Brighton at the Amex Stadium tonight"I truly believe we need all our mental and physical capacity to be able to win. And, of course, we want to win and we're expecting a tough match," the Chelsea head coach explained at his pre-match press conference.
James has been ruled out since the end of December, having suffered a torn hamstring in the 1-1 draw against Brighton at Stamford Bridge.
The England international left that game on crutches and there were fears he would have to undergo surgery to ensure a full recovery. That proved not to be the case but James was expected to be ruled out for around six to eight weeks.
football.london understands the 22-year-old's recovery has been going well and that he has undertaken some light jogging on the training pitches at Cobham this week. However, James is still not close to making a return to the first-team squad.
On top of this, James' five-word message that he sent to the fans on Thursday has confirmed this positive development.
What Thomas Tuchel has said: “No news which is good news. Trevoh will be out, Reece James out.”
Expected return: N/A
Chelsea are not expected to be able to call upon the services of left-back Ben Chilwell after the serious injury that he sustained against Juventus.
The Blues took a conservative route with their treatment but a major setback saw Chilwell undergo surgery for an ACL injury.
His recovery is expected to keep him out of the side until at least the end of the current season.
What Thomas Tuchel has said: “Chilly of course has had his surgery and he has our best wishes and all of our energy to come back healthy and as soon as possible.
“Unfortunately it seems like the season is over for him.”
Expected return: Summer 2022
Tuchel will be speaking to the press on Friday afternoon where we will hear fresh updates on the quartet who have been mentioned in the injury round up ahead of the Lilywhites' visit on Sunday, January 23.
Bayern Munich want Chelsea's Christensen on free transfer as Barca & Premier League-linked Sule refuses contract extension .
The centre-back will leave the Bundesliga champions in the summer transfer window and they are looking at the Denmark international to replace himGOAL and Spox can confirm centre-back Sule will leave the German giants this summer when his contract expires, despite Bayern’s offer to raise his salary to €10 million.