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Thomas Tuchel claims injury-hit Chelsea are “completely exhausted”

Thomas Tuchel was furious after his Chelsea side let their lead slip to draw 1-1 with Brighton on Wednesday, with two more injuries a bad sign for Liverpool’s visit.

Though the situation changes daily, the Reds head into the New Year with their spirits hit by a 1-0 loss to Leicester, but in largely strong shape in terms of fitness.

Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho and Curtis Jones all returned to the squad on Tuesday, while Thiago is not expected to miss an extended period after muscle tightness from his first session back.

As it stands, just one youngster is isolating due to COVID-19, while Divock Origi, Takumi Minamino, Nat Phillips and Harvey Elliott are the only injury issues.

For Chelsea, though, it is a different story, with Reece James and Andreas Christensen joining Ben Chilwell and Thiago Silva on the injury list, while Kai Havertz and Timo Werner have missed recent games with Covid.

Speaking to Amazon Prime after the draw with Brighton, Tuchel expressed his frustration amid doubts whether he can field a strong side against Liverpool.

“[There is] no need to look ahead. We can try to find players who are ready to play,” he said.

“We have no more wing-backs. We have everybody injured. Players come back from a Covid situation then they’re playing, playing, playing.

“I will always protect my players. First of all, we need to digest this, then I will talk about the next game.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, March 4, 2021: Chelsea's manager Thomas Tuchel (R) with Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp at the final whistle during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC at Anfield. Chelsea won 1-0 condeming Liverpool to their fifth home defeat on the run.(Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Chelsea are one of only two sides to not have a Premier League game postponed due to absences this season, and it seems unlikely at this stage that the visit of Liverpool on January 2 will be either.

But unlike the other club whose schedule has been unaffected, Man City, the Blues have clearly been impacted by the situation, with Tuchel ruing a “very intense match” in midweek.

“We needed another two changes because of injuries, so in the dressing room they’re completely, completely exhausted,” the Chelsea manager continued.

“It’s the same subject every single matchday now.”

He added: “We had two injuries, again. We have players who would normally be out after 60 minutes.”

James will certainly miss the New Year game, which will be the first in the Premier League‘s trial of safe standing, with Tuchel now without his two first-choice wing-backs.

If Silva and Christensen are both absent, it could be that Malang Sarr comes in for only his second league start.

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