Here’s all the news from around Stamford Bridge over the past 24 hours.
Chelsea tipped for Champions League glory
Bayern Munich boss Hansi Flick is backing Chelsea to “go far” in the UEFA Champions League this season following the appointment of Thomas Tuchel last month.
Despite next week’s round of 32 first-leg clash with an Atletico Madrid side who currently sit top of La Liga, Flick is confident that the Blues can progress in the competition this season.
“Chelsea have massive potential in terms of quality and quantity,” said Flick, in an interview with France Football. “It’s a young team with a lot of talent.
“They can go far in the Champions League this season. Thomas has gained experience at PSG that will benefit him at Chelsea.
“He is ready for this challenge.”
Chelsea reached the last-16 of the Champions League last season before being knocked out by Flick’s Bayern, losing 7-1 on aggregate over the two legs.
Atletico Madrid double boost
Speaking of Chelsea’s upcoming opponents in the Champions League, they were in action on Wednesday against Levante away from home.
It was one of Diego Simeone side’s games in hand and they were held to a 1-1 draw which extends their lead at the top of the La Liga table to six points.
But the good news for Atleti was the return of two key players.
Wonderkid Joao Felix was a second-half substitute following a period of self-isolation after testing positive for Covid-19.
Meanwhile, defender Jose Gimenez came through 90 minutes unscathed.
Last week it was reported that the Uruguay international was ruled out for up to three weeks with a muscular injury – thus ruling him out of the first-leg – but he will be available.
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Tuchel admission is bad news for Ziyech
Timo Werner has, in his own words, been used as a “left ten” under Thomas Tuchel, with either Olivier Giroud or Tammy Abraham spearheading the attack.
And that is something unlikely to change going forward given comments made by Chelsea’s head coach after the win against Newcastle.
“We know he likes to drift out a little bit to the wing, between the full-back and centre-back,” Tuchel told Sky Sports. “So we try to bring him into these positions he likes to play next to a guy who is a reference in the middle like Tammy and Oli.
“We wanted to escape the pressure in the half positions today so we played Mason on the right and Marcos (Alonso) more inside to keep Timo stay in a high position and use his speed. It worked well in the first half, the second half lacked precision.”
As revealed by football.london, this admission could be bad news for Hakim Ziyech.
The Morocco international has already seen his playing time reduced following the appointment of Tuchel and now faces even more of a battle to win his place back if this tactical plan is here to stay.