Thomas Tuchel update delivered with Chelsea boss in 30-hour race to reach Club World Cup final

Chelsea assistant coach Zsolt Low remains hopeful Thomas Tuchel will be able to join up with the first-team squad ahead of tomorrow’s Club World Cup final against Abu Dhabi.

Tuchel tested positive for Covid last Friday and had to enter self-isolation. It meant the German missed the FA Cup win over Plymouth, the flight out to UAE on Saturday night, and Wednesday’s semi-final victory over Al Hilal.

The Chelsea head coach has continued to oversee preparations via video conferences and phone calls and is desperate to make the final against Brazilian side Palmeiras, which kicks off at 4.30pm UK time.

Tuchel will need to return two negative PCR tests in order to leave the UK for Abu Dhabi. He would also need to provide a third negative test upon landing in the emirate and briefly quarantine in his hotel room until a result is received.

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It is very much a race against time but one Low hopes Tuchel can win, especially given Chelsea have reportedly put a private jet on standby to get the 48-year-old to the final

“Thomas will absolutely want to be here,” the Chelsea assistant said during his pre-match press conference.

“The whole club wants that. We hope he can make it. We have 30 hours. Every test can be negative and with one he can fly and join the group.

“He follows the rules and protocols. [There’s] still a lot of time. We hope he can come but if not we are well prepared, we have a lot of meetings.

“We talk about the game, we analyse the game, and see what we can do better. We’re absolutely clear what to do better in the second game.”

In the two matches Chelsea have played without Tuchel on the touchline, against Plymouth and Al Hilal, the Blues have produced lethargic displays. And Jorginho admits the energy Tuchel on the sidelines brings has been missed in his absence.

“Of course, it’s different. His energy helps a lot but he’s not here now and the staff is trying to do their best. We can feel that.

“We feel sorry Thomas is not here with us but he’s involved all the time, in touch with the staff and team. We can feel the staff, all of them, are doing their best.”

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