Thomas Tuchel has been dealt another Chelsea injury blow as Reece James has suffered a hamstring tear and has undergone a scan to confirm the extent of the injury and the fullback will not face Liverpool in the key Premier League title showdown.
The fullback suffered the injury during the 1-1 draw against Brighton and will now miss the crucial game against the Reds.
Liverpool lost 1-0 to Leicester City after drawing 2-2 with Spurs in the worst possible way to prepare for a huge clash with Chelsea and Manchester City, who are now cosy at the top of the Premier League table with an 8-point lead, will watch the game at Stamford Bridge with few worries.
Jurgen Klopp and Tuchel will both be stressed going into the game as it will essentially be a game that decides who will rival Pep Guardiola for the title this season although many pessimists think the title is already a foregone conclusion and that was before the fireworks even went off to mark the transition from 2021 to 2022.
Reece James suffers apparent hamstring tear and is ruled out
It’s always awful to see players suffer injuries especially when they’re as talented and fun to watch as James but I must say it’s something of a relief to know the Englishman won’t face Liverpool.
He’s that good.
Football.London reports that he was due for scans on his hamstring but there has been no word on the results yet but it’s obvious he will miss the clash at Stamford Bridge tomorrow evening.
Speaking at his press conference, a defeated Thomas Tuchel said: “With Reecey, still it is a hamstring injury, a muscle injury. Like always with muscle injuries, the examination is a bit later because the images are better if you wait a bit. Those images will be later today (Friday, 31 December 2021) I guess and then we will know more about it.”
Chelsea will be like a wounded animal with injuries piling up amid controversial comments from Romelu Lukaku
Belgian striker Lukaku gave a shock interview to Sky Sports Italia saying he knows he will return to Inter Milan and that he is unhappy with Tuchel because the Chelsea manager switched the system the Blues play.
The Londoners have been battling with COVID-19 cases and have 6 key players (including Reece James) on the sidelines with Thiago Silva, Timo Werner, Andreas Christensen, Ben Chilwell and Ruben Loftus-Cheek also out injured.
Marcos Alonso is the ‘only recognised’ wing-back fit and available, as per a tweet from Football.London’s Adam Newson.
But it’s James, who Owen Hargreaves labelled a “ridiculous talent” following Chelsea’s 3-3 draw against Zenit St. Petersburg in the Champions League after he started the game at right-back but ventured into central midfield.
He said: “When he was on loan at Wigan as a kid he played centre-midfield there and the reports that came back from there was ‘who is this kid? Oh he’s a right-back.’ He got player of the year at Wigan and he’s a ridiculous talent,” he said on BT Sport.
“We spoke about young players, right-backs in this country dictating games. He went into midfield and looked like he was playing there all of his life.
“He was dominating, passing, breaking things up but he looks accustomed to playing there.”
Liverpool will be grateful he will be unable to work his magic against them in a similar way to how Trent Alexander-Arnold does for the Reds.
Liverpool cannot squander golden opportunity to leapfrog Chelsea
The Reds have wasted too many points this season and with Chelsea seriously struggling for players and for form – they’ve drawn three out of their last five Premier League games – Jurgen Klopp’s side must win in London on Sunday.
Manchester City face Arsenal before Liverpool face the Blues so Pep Guardiola’s men could be 12 points above the Merseysiders before the Chelsea game starts which means there will be incredible pressure on the game.
Dropping points against Chelsea simply is not an option if Liverpool want to stay in the title race.