Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said his decision to deploy Christian Pulisic and Callum Hudson-Odoi as wing-backs against Arsenal was part of the preparation for the upcoming UEFA Super Cup clash against Villarreal.

The Blues will only have eight to nine days before having to travel to Belfast to face the Europa League winners.

A number of players, including Thiago Silva and Jorginho, are yet to return for the pre-season following their involvement in the Copa America and the Euro 2020 finals.

While the academy players and returning loanees have helped fill the void so far, Tuchel still faces a selection headache, particularly in the wing-back positions.

Arsenal v Chelsea - Pre Season Friendly
(Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Reece James, Ben Chilwell, and Emerson Palmieri are yet to return, Cesar Azpilicueta is still lacking sharpness, while Marcos Alonso seems to have an injury or fitness issue.

As a result, Tuchel admitted that he had to prepare a Plan B, in case the aforementioned players will not be available for the Super Cup match.


The Plan B is to play Pulisic and Hudson-Odoi in wing-backs positions, exactly what Tuchel did in the 2-1 win over Arsenal on Sunday.

Arsenal v Chelsea - Pre Season Friendly
(Photo by Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images)

Tuchel had the UEFA Super Cup in mind

“Yes, maybe,” the Chelsea manager said when asked whether he plans to use Pulisic as a wing-back going forward (via Hayters TV).

“He played there with me at Dortmund — and we’ve played many times like this with Callum.

“Marcos [Alonso] was not able to play today.

“So we put Callum on the left side which is what I had wanted to see for a long time if he could maybe be more dangerous from this position with his dribbling, coming inside — which he loves and he did today.

Arsenal v Chelsea: The Mind Series
(Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

“You know our situation. We have [Azpi and Reece for [the right-back] position, but both are not here.

“So we need to have solutions because we start on the 11th against Villarreal and 14th for the [Premier League] season. We [could] not try things then, so it’s the time to see.”

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