Thomas Tuchel remained positive about the condition of Cesar Azpilicueta after the Chelsea captain sat out last night’s Carabao Cup win over Southampton.

Azpilicueta and a whole host of Stamford Bridge stars missed Tuesday’s penalty shootout success against the Saints.

Chelsea managed to overcome the coastal club without their skipper, N’Golo Kante, Andreas Christensen and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, all absent through varying injuries.

Kai Havertz put the Blues in front on the stroke of half-time but were pegged back almost instantly after the restart by Che Adams.

Chelsea v Southampton - Carabao Cup Round of 16
(Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

The clock ticked all the way up to 90 minutes without a breakthrough, so spot-kicks would be the deciding factor.

Kepa Arrizbalaga came up trumps once again from 12 yards, saving two attempts from the visitors to ensure his side progressed to the next round.

Injury update

Yet, Tuchel’s men have little time to savour the victory, as their attentions must quickly turn to facing Newcastle United in the Premier League on Saturday.

The German coach will be wanting a positive update on the fitness of his wounded troop ahead of the St James’ Park Visit, especially the leader of the dressing room.   

Chelsea FC v Malmo FF: Group H - UEFA Champions League
(Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

“We hope Azpi is back for the weekend,” said the Blues boss.

 

“He had a shoulder injury yesterday in training when he fell on it. It’s very painful but he’s Azpi and he’s a tough guy.”

Tuchel also gave updates on Loftus-Cheek and Christensen, saying: “Ruben felt after training some pain in his hip joint. Hopefully we can handle it for Saturday.

“Andreas needed to recover from tooth surgery and should be back training on Thursday if there are no complications.”

Eyes on the prize

Alongside Azpilicueta and Christensen, Antonio Rudiger, Thiago Silva and Edouard Mendy were all left out of yesterday’s cup drama with Southampton.

Brentford v Chelsea - Premier League
(Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images)

Permitted they are available, expect all of them to feature at Newcastle this weekend.

Chelsea cannot take any risks in terms of team selection, as the title race remains as tight as ever.

With Liverpool and Manchester City expected to beat Brighton & Hove Albion and Crystal Palace respectively, the onus is on the league leaders to keep pace.

 Keep up to date with all the latest Chelsea news and opinion by following The Chelsea Chronicle’s Twitter account here

Have something to tell us about this article?