Photo: Chelsea boosted again by return of another player in training, Tuchel had him as a doubt for tonight's tie

Like London buses, Chelsea wait ages for some positive injury news then two come at once.

On Monday, Antonio Rudiger and Reece James were both pictured in training, putting in the work ahead of tonight’s Premier League game against Manchester United.

The two defenders missed last weekend’s victory over West Ham United, watching on from the Stamford Bridge stands rather than performing on the pitch.

There were obvious fears that the pair might also be absent for the trip to Old Trafford, a ground Chelsea haven’t won at in the league since 2013.

However, the club’s camera operator put those pains to bed by snapping the duo in action at the beginning of the week.

But the person behind the lens was not done there.

Just in time to face Manchester United

Yesterday, they captured Andreas Christensen smiling whilst standing on the Cobham pitches.

Christensen also sat out the recent London derby due to illness.

He was meant to start the fixture, but had to be removed shortly before kick-off.

Thomas Tuchel will surely be buoyed by the return of his defensive trio, even if he played down their availability in his press conference on Wednesday.

“Toni Rudiger was in training yesterday, so was Reece James, we have another training coming and hopefully they will be fine,” explained the German coach.

“Andreas needs another examination, but hopefully he will train.”

Key to Chelsea’s success

Without Christensen, Rudiger and James, Chelsea’s back-line is undeniably weaker.

Their omissions also impact the team going forward.

Rudiger has a knack for stepping out of defence to play an incisive pass or switch play to the opposite flank.

James becomes one of the side’s most influential attacking weapons when deployed at wing-back.

Photo by Michael Regan – The FA/The FA via Getty Images

Fortunately for the Blues, at least two of the three could potentially be picked to face United this evening.

Despite the recent woes of Ralf Rangnick’s men, Tuchel cannot afford to take his foot off the gas.

There are still a few hurdles to get over before Champions League football can be confirmed for another campaign.

Win in Manchester and Europe edges just that little bit closer.

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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.