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CONFIRMED: Full Chelsea squad to face Crystal Palace Today as Thomas Tuchel given huge boost



Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel will have a number of key players to pick from as his side look to bounce back from Premier League defeat last time around

It has been a week of contrasting emotions for both Chelsea fans and manager Thomas Tuchel.

A disaster showing at home to relegation zone dwellers West Bromwich Albion, in which Allardyce’s side put five past the Blues, was followed up by a disciplined 2-0 away win in the Champions League quarter final against Porto.

Continuing the upward trajectory of good news, Tuchel told the media ahead of his side’s trip to Crystal Palace on Saturday evening that his team were facing no new injury concerns, though they will have to deal with Thiago Silva’s suspension after his red card last Saturday.

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The Chelsea boss remained coy on whether Christian Pulisic, one of the club’s only current injury concerns, would feature at all against Roy Hodgson’s side.

He said: “His fitness is always important because he has a huge impact with sprint and intensity at the highest level. It’s one of his biggest strengths but he needs to feel confident and calm mentally.

“Then he can be a huge weapon for us. He scored against West Brom but the overall game and his need to go off at half time clouded the goal and impact he had but now against Porto he was very close to scoring. He can have a huge impact from the bench.

“We have to take care of him, hopefully he won’t be reinjured. I feel him getting stronger and more confident. He can be a decisive factor with his speed, ability to dribble and arrive in the box from dangerous situations. Hopefully he can have that impact. It’s our job to push him there.”

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The former PSG & Borussia Dortmund coach was also poised with a question surrounding Tammy Abraham’s potential inclusion, now the forward has returned from injury.

Tuchel stated: “Tammy has had a rough time. He started twice or three times and substituted for tactical reasons at half-time. He’s not had the impact we wish and demand from him.

“He then got injured, lost the connection and possibility to play for his place the squad. Now suddenly we’re in the decisive part of the season, where it’s not so easy to bring injured players into the shape. We’ve only got three changes and a big handicap.

“It’s up to Tammy to do everything possible. We have 22 players on the pitch and it’s very hard to select 18 for Premier League matches. In the offensive position it’s possible to have a huge impact in small minutes. We demand a lot of Tammy, he demands a lot of himself.”

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Tuchel was quick to use his presser as a chance to publicly call on his side to put Wednesday night’s Champions League victory behind them and set their sights firmly on the race for top four.

The German said: “It is for us very important that we are fully focused on every challenge that we have.

“That we forget the games and results that we had and accept every new challenge and embrace every new challenge from the start.

“It gives us no advantage that we have a 2-0 lead against Porto when we play against Crystal Palace. We have to start over again and at the end of the season this is the challenge to be fully focused.

“This can give you a huge boost in self-confidence because tomorrow is not the day to fulfil all our goals. Tomorrow is only 90 minutes. You just have to focus for 90 minutes.

“You don’t have to think about Tuesday and then about the fixture against Manchester City. We do it step by step and we can rely that we are fully fit. We arrive without big injuries and hopefully it stays like this and this should give us self confidence.”

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Full Chelsea squad available to face Palace:

Goalkeepers: Edouard Mendy, Kepa Arrizabalaga, Willy Caballero, Karlo Ziger.

Defenders: Reece James, Cesar Azpilicueta, Antonio Rudiger, Kurt Zouma, Andreas Christensen, Ben Chilwell, Marcos Alonso & Emerson Palmieri.

Midfielders: Christian Pulisic, Hakim Ziyech, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Jorginho, N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic, Billy Gilmour, Mason Mount, Kai Havertz.

Strikers: Tammy Abraham, Timo Werner & Olivier Giroud.


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