Starting line up hint, youngster works – 3 things spotted in Chelsea training ahead of Juventus


Another day and another gargantuan clash for Chelsea as they face their toughest Champions League group stage clash against Juventus on Wednesday evening.

The Blues will be looking to bounce back from their first defeat of the season against Manchester City to build some momentum in Europe and to add another three points to those they picked up against Zenit St Petersburg earlier in the month.

Thomas Tuchel put his squad through their paces on Tuesday before making the trip out to Italy but was without a number of first team regulars including Mason Mount, N’Golo Kante, Christian Pulisic and Reece James as the Blues’ injury problems begin to add up.

Nevertheless we take a look at what can be learned from the session.

First team only?

While Chelsea are down a number of players, they don’t appear to have relied too much on youth to fill up the numbers. The Blues’ development stars take on Juve in a Uefa Youth League clash on Wednesday afternoon, so have their own things to work on.

However, we still saw the likes of Ross Barkley and Malang Sarr involved with Chelsea’s group, but with the edition of Xavier Mbuyamba.

The Dutch defender made his first Chelsea squad in the Carabao Cup last week after participating in training, and appears to have had another opportunity to mix with Champions League winners.

However, the 19-year-old is in a purgatory of sorts as he is unable to play for the first team or the side that plays in the UEFA Youth League.

Mbuyamba was not named among the Blues first team squad for the European competition and is ineligible to be part of the UEFA B-list, having not been at Cobham for the two years required.

The same reason means he is unavailable for the UEFA Youth League as one of five overage players and is a day too old to qualify for the competition normally.

Chilwell on corners

One difficult decision that Tuchel will have to mull over is Ben Chilwell or Marcos Alonso. The Spaniard has had an outstanding start to the season but there have always been concerns over his defensive capabilities.

Alonso was caught out against Manchester City in some high positions, which may have people reasserting that Chilwell is the wiser option against the best sides, despite his own attacking tendencies.

However, many of the calls for the England international were dampened following his first game back against Aston Villa in the FA Cup which was less than convincing.

The former Leicester defender was spotted taking a corner kick in the Blues’ training session which could indicate he is part of Tuchel’s set piece plans when they take on the stern opposition of Juventus.

Good spirits



Romelu Lukaku and César Azpilicueta of Chelsea during a training session
Romelu Lukaku and César Azpilicueta of Chelsea during a training session

Injuries, defeat and a whole lot of rain doesn’t seem to have got the Chelsea squad down as there were plenty of smiles.

Of course you expect professionals to be able to recover from set-backs but it’s still reassuring to see a good team spirit from a team in search of more success.

Cesar Azpilicueta, Hakim Ziyech and Romelu Lukaku were all sharing a laugh, while Timo Werner had his arm around Ben Chilwell as the warm-ups got underway.

It looks like the squad are in a good place mentally.





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