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Injury Update

Fitness boost for Chelsea as Tuchel expect key man to return against Liverpool

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Callum Hudson-Odoi was brought off against Manchester United at half time and was seen with an ice pack strapped to his left thigh

Callum Hudson-Odoi is expected to be fit for Chelsea’s game against Liverpool on Thursday evening.

The 20-year-old was brought off at half time of the 0-0 draw with Manchester United on Sunday and was seen with an ice pack strapped to his left thigh as he watched the second period from the bench.

Hudson-Odoi has established himself as a key player for Chelsea since the arrival of Thomas Tuchel at the end of January. The England international has featured in every game the German coach has overseen, usually as a right wing-back in Tuchel’s 3-4-2-1 system.

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The academy graduate has impressed in the role and, according to the Daily Star, should be available to fill it once more at Anfield.

After the goalless draw with United, Tuchel confirmed Hudson-Odoi’s injury was minor and that the decision to introduce Reece James at the break was also tactical.

“[He’s] a little bit injured,” Tuchel said when asked about why Hudon-Odoi was replaced. “So reason was a tactical decision and little injury combination.

“We switched to a back five in defence [for the second half] and covered the right position of Marcus Rashford in between Azpi (Cesar Azpilicueta) and Reece James in the second half.

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“It was not an option to use Callum there. That’s why it was a tactical choice.”

Hudson-Odoi has started seven of Tuchel’s nine games in charge at Chelsea and has often impressed the 47-year-old coach.

However, when introduced from the substitutes’ bench, the winger has drawn the ire of the German, no more so than during the 1-1 draw at Southampton.

Hudson-Odoi was introduced at half time at St Mary’s but lasted only 30 minutes before being hauled off by Tuchel and admonished for his performance.

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“He missed chances to counter-press, lost some easy balls. I had the feeling he was never really into the game.

“You know I trust him a lot because he plays every game for us but today I was close to him and I don’t know, maybe it was unfair, but I didn’t get the feeling today that I normally get from him because he can be decisive.”

Hudson-Odoi may not be the only Chelsea player to return from injury at Anfield.

Thiago Silva is set to return to first-team training today and the 36-year-old could be in contention to take on the Premier League champions.

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