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Champions League

Chelsea receive triple injury boost as they fly to Club World Cup without Thomas Tuchel


Chelsea will begin their bid to be crowned world champions on Wednesday, although manager Thomas Tuchel is likely to not be with his squad having tested positive for Covid-19

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In pictures: Chelsea v Plymouth

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Chelsea have included Reece James in their travelling party for the FIFA Club World Cup in a major boost to the Blues’ hopes of a strong end to the season.

Thomas Tuchel has been without the England international since the end of December, with Chelsea winning just one of the four Premier League games he has missed.

However, James is closing in on a return and is part of the Chelsea squad which touched down in Abu Dhabi ahead of their bid to be crowned world champions.

Chelsea – having won the Champions League last term – join the competition at the semi final stage and will kick-off their campaign on Wednesday.

HAVE YOUR SAY! Will Chelsea win the FIFA Club World Cup? Let us know in the comments

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Reece James has been included in the Chelsea squad for the FIFA Club World Cup
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Image:

@AbuDhabiSC/Twitter)

James is unlikely to be involved in the Middle East, but the fact he is involved in the squad is positive news for Chelsea.

Along with James, Christian Pulisic and N’Golo Kante have also made the trip having missed Saturday’s 2-1 win over Plymouth in the FA Cup.

The European champions booked their place in the last-16, but were given a major fright by Argyle, who took the lead in the opening exchanges.

Cesar Azpilicueta levelled shortly before half-time, but Chelsea were unable to translate their dominance into further goals and were taken to extra time by the League One side.

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Marcos Alonso then put the hosts in the front, but were left grateful to Kepa Arrizzabalaga for their safe passage after the Spaniard saved a last minute penalty from the game visitors.

Chelsea were without manager Thomas Tuchel for the game at Stamford Bridge after it was revealed the German had tested positive for Covid-19 in the build-up.

Tuchel hopes to join his squad in Abu Dhabi next week, once he has passed the required protocols.

His assistant Arno Michels was on the touchline in Tuchel’s absence and opened up on how he remained in constant communication throughout the nervy encounter.

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Arno Michels deputised for Thomas Tuchel, who was absent after testing positive for Covid-19

“There has been ongoing communication with Benni Weber [assistant coach/analyst],” Michals revealed. “He knew about our game, of course, and stayed in touch for the whole game.

“He was involved in the whole preparation of the game so everything was clear in what we wanted to do and we stayed the whole time in touch. All good.”

On Tuchel’s plans to fly out, he added: “Right now, I do not know exactly what the situation is with Thomas and when he will be back. He has to follow the government rules and is in self-isolation. So we will look forward in the next days.”

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