Chelsea will be without four players against Atletico Madrid tomorrow with Thomas Tuchel confirming Thiago Silva and Tammy Abraham are ruled out of the Champions League clash due to injury.
Silva hasn’t played for the Blues since limping off during the first half of the win against Tottenham Hotspur on February 4. The Brazil international injured his thigh in that game and despite returning to the match-day squad against Everton, he suffered a setback in training last week and is again on the sidelines.
Abraham, meanwhile, has been struggling with an ankle injury sustained in the 2-0 victory over Newcastle United. The England international hasn’t featured in the last five matches and will be absent once again as Chelsea look to claim their place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time since 2014.
In addition to Silva and Abraham, Chelsea will also be without Mason Mount and Jorginho due to suspension. The duo have scored six of the 13 goals in the Tuchel era and the German coach admits they will be big losses against the La Liga side.
“They are two key players for us,” the German coach said. “Especially Mason for his offensive skills and his power to break the lines with dribbles and shots.
“There is a small line between arguments and excuses, so while they’ve been important players so far, we have a group in which we compete in this competition.
“So now is the challenge to adapt and find solutions because we will play without the two guys. We will also need to play without Thiago Silva and Tammy Abraham. There are no more injuries [apart from those two].
“So we will without four players and that makes our selection easier because we can choose 20 fit players. We will use the whole squad because we can use five substitutes in the match.
“We have a clear idea of what we want to do and how we want to create chances. But we are very aware that Atletico is one of the best teams in Europe when it comes to not giving away chances.
“So it will be likely we have to be patient but play with intensity. We need to keep our level constant, that is the key tomorrow.”
When pressed further on when Chelsea can expect to have both Silva and Abraham back in contention, Tuchel replied: “With the international break coming, I don’t think I am taking too big a risk saying that after the international break they will be rejoining the squad.
“That is the clear plan.”