TCC View: Tuchel should leave Chelsea’s £30m man firmly on the bench later this evening

Football is full of risk-taking.

New signings, sacking managers, developing stadiums, changing laws, trying out different tactics; all are gambles that make up the DNA of the sport.

Chelsea have a history of treading the line between harmless and hazardous.

Bringing in Thomas Tuchel had a warning sign attached, but look how that move has panned out.

Giving Mason Mount and Reece James the freedom of the first team initially induced scrutiny; enough said about that one.

Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Yet, some precarious ventures are simply not worth taking.

Especially when the risk outweighs the reward.

Chelsea vs Tottenham

The Blues travel to Tottenham Hotspurs’ stadium tonight for the second leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final bout.

Spurs trail by two goals from the reverse fixture at Stamford Bridge last week, meaning they must take some risks to try and rescue the tie.

Chelsea on the other hand can afford to take their foot slightly off the gas.

Not by much – Tuchel will duly remind everyone the contest is not over – but a little.

One eye on the Etihad

He can probably rest and rotate a few players who featured in the FA Cup victory over Chesterfield.

This shouldn’t alter the status of his team’s strength, as he made six changes for the previous meeting with Tottenham and still came out on top.

Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

His selections should bear in mind the mighty Premier League match-up against Manchester City on Saturday, however.

Although the Blues boss cannot afford to take Spurs lightly, arguably the weekend’s fixture holds more importance.

Therefore, some individuals need to be bubble wrapped and kept in the warmth tonight.

Specifically, N’Golo Kante and Thiago Silva, who have only just returned from the blanket of covid isolation.

Keep Kante and Silva fresh

The temptation to throw the pair straight back into action might be too much for some managers.

Kante was excellent in the league meeting with Spurs in September, the £30m (BBC) Frenchman completely changing the game after coming off the bench in the second half.

Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

However, if Tuchel is considered, he will not gamble with the duo’s availability.

Not because they are unfit, but because losing them ahead of the City clash would be a monumental disadvantage.

Chelsea fans shouldn’t fret if they are not involved; there are plenty of quality options to cover for Kante and Silva this time around.

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.