Thomas Tuchel is not expecting to have Timo Werner or Romelu Lukaku back until after the international break – but was pleased to be informed of a statistic that may compensate for their absences.
Chelsea are currently without a centre-forward after Lukaku and Werner both got injured. They have been using Kai Havertz as a false nine in the two games since then. It doesn’t seem to have affected them too much. A 7-0 win over Norwich preceded a 1-1 draw against Southampton.
Next up is a trip to face Newcastle for a 3pm kick-off on Saturday. Once again, Tuchel will have to adapt with a lack of a centre-forward.
However, he has better injury news on the whole in comparison to what he had to reveal midweek.
“We have some better news than ahead of the Southampton game,” he said at a press conference. “Timo and Romelu are still out because of their injuries. Christian Pulisic did join the last two training sessions but it is still too early given the time that he missed.
“Everybody else is available. [Cesar] Azpi[licueta] was back on the pitch, so were Ruben [Loftus-Cheek] and N’Golo [Kante] who will be with the team tomorrow and ready to play.”
Asked for an estimation on when his strikers would be back, Tuchel revealed everyone is working towards the same target.
“I am not a friend of deadlines and putting pressure on expectations,” he said. “But I can tell you that, realistically, both of them have a new target and that is after the national break. That’s what we are aiming for and what they are aiming for.
“For Christian Pulisic, we are looking forward to the Burnley match [on November 6th] if everything goes alright. He should be in the squad and ready to play.”
Tuchel relying on different goalscorers
It was later put to Tuchel that he has had 14 different goalscorers in the Premier League so far this season after nine games.
With that in mind, he is confident that the absences of his two strikers will not affect them too much again.
“I know them only when you tell me because otherwise I am not into them so much. But it is nice to hear as now we have to compensate for the loss of Romelu and Timo,” he said of the stats.
“Of course we did score before with different scorers and now it is even more necessary that we arrive in dangerous positions in the box with lots of players.
“It is important that we bring bodies to the opponent’s box, that we are brave enough and free enough to end our attacks with enough people in the box to increase the chance to score. This is maybe the reason for it.
“Hopefully it will not be [penalty taker] Jorginho at the end of the season as our top scorer! We like him a lot and it is no offence to him but we want our main guys to score regularly. Hopefully we can provide and create chances for them.
“It is good that we are dangerous from several positions and set pieces. That’s what we want.”