Thomas Tuchel admitted that Chelsea are missing some “experience and leadership” amid the absence of two key players ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash against West Ham.

The Chelsea boss confirmed that Ben Chilwell, Mateo Kovacic, N’Golo Kante, and Trevoh Chalobah are the only four players who will miss the game the weekend.

This also means that Jorginho and Reece James who were left out of the win over Watford in midweek are back in the squad.

Jorginho’s return, in particular, is a huge boost for Tuchel who is not exactly spoilt for options at the moment.

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“Jorgi is the only one left of the three [alongside Kante and Kovacic] whose shoulders we’ve put the central roles over a long period now,” the German said during the press conference on Friday.

“I’m absolutely happy that Ruben [Loftus-Cheek] steps in the way he does it.

“But [while] we’re happy that Jorgi is back, we can’t wait for Kova and NG to come back because [they’re] not only very important parts of our season but also our games.

“We miss the experience and the leadership of the guys who are out.”

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Chelsea without two out of three key midfielders

Kante sustained a knee injury during the win over Juventus over a week ago and has been out since.

Meanwhile, Kovacic, who has been out longer than initially expected, picked up a hamstring injury during a training session at the end of October.

Chelsea have dealt with injuries relatively well, largely thanks to their impressive squad depth, but as Tuchel pointed out, these two are still key members of the squad.

Kovacic had shown tremendous improvement in terms of final products prior to the injury with five assists in the league this season. In fact, he still leads Chelsea’s assist charts.

While for Kante, it is obvious what he offers to the team.

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