June 7, 2023

Why Callum Hudson-Odoi, Reece James and Cesar Azpilicueta are missing for Chelsea vs Newcastle

The Blues take on Newcastle at Stamford Bridge. Thomas Tuchel has explained that Reece James has suffered a ‘re-injury’ that keeps him out of Chelsea’s clash against Newcastle on Sunday afternoon.

The England international has missed most of 2022 with a hamstring injury before he suffered muscular issues three matches into his return.

The Blues are also without Cesar Azpilicueta and Callum Hudson-Odoi forcing Thomas Tuchel to name a back four of centre-backs. Trevoh Chalobah, Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger and Malang Sarr make up the defence, with Christensen and Sarr having played as full-backs against Crystal Palace earlier in the season.

The German coach can rely on Christian Pulisic once again as he the American lines up on the bench after missing the trip to Norwich through illness.

“We are running out a little bit of right wing-backs,” said Tuchel.

“Reece James has unfortunately had a re-injury, Azpi is out and Callum Hudson-Odoi who can play there is also out.
“Christian Pulisic has only just come back and is on the bench, so we’ve had to e a little bit creative.

“Let’s see how this plays out today. Newcastle play with a back five but they can also create some surprise by switching to a 4-3-3 so let’s see.”

Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Saul Niguez deputised in the wing-back positions at Carrow Road but both have to make do with a place on the bench this afternoon as Thiago Silva is also rested.

The Blues have made four changes to the team that overcame Norwich. In addition to the Brazilian, Mateo Kovacic, Saul and Azpilicueta drop out of the side that faced the Canaries with Hakim Ziyech and N’Golo Kante coming into the team alongside Rudiger and Sarr.

Chelsea XI: Mendy; Chalobah, Christensen, Rudiger, Sarr; Kante, Jorginho, Ziyech, Mount, Werner, Havertz.


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