Who will take charge of Chelsea against Plymouth with Thomas Tuchel absent through Covid



Chelsea assistant coach Arno Michels will be the stand-in manager for the FA Cup tie against Plymouth due to Thomas Tuchel contracting Covid-19 in the build up.

The Blues, who have been rocked by coronavirus issues already this season in the playing squad, have suffered yet another blow as a result of the virus.

A statement on the Chelsea website confirmed the news: “Thomas Tuchel has tested positive for Covid-19.

“The Chelsea head coach will now follow necessary self-isolation protocols and hopes to join up with the team in Abu Dhabi later next week.

“The team fly out for the Club World Cup following this afternoon’s FA Cup clash with Plymouth Argyle.”

The German manager follows on from his compatriot in Merseyside, Jurgen Klopp, being absent from the dugout this season with the Liverpool boss missing the clash at Stamford Bridge back in December due to the virus.

With Tuchel’s Club World Cup involvement still up in the air, the focus for the European Champions is currently on Plymouth and Chelsea have confirmed who will step up in Tuchel’s absence.

The club tweeted on their official Twitter account: “Arno Michels will take charge of the side this lunchtime in the absence of Thomas Tuchel.”

Following on from today, the question of the FIFA Club World Cup will dominate the agenda of the post-match press conference but it is expected that the coaching staff will carry on as normal and as planned in the coming days.

football.london understands that the west Londoners are meant to be flying out after the home FA Cup tie against Plymouth on Saturday lunchtime and now, this will obviously happen without Tuchel.

The team are scheduled for open training on Sunday, so it’s likely that Anthony Barry and co will step up to keep the players on their feet before the semi-final next Wednesday.

With just under 4 days before the semi-final event at the Mohammad Bin Zayed Stadium, Tuchel will hope he can complete his isolation quickly by returning negative Covid tests in the forthcoming days before being granted permission to travel.

Whether or not Tuchel eventually recovers for the mid-season tournament remains to be seen but the expectation is that Michels will remain in charge for the competition if Tuchel is unable to travel.





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