‘James, you too?’ Chelsea groan over defensive line injury

[골닷컴] Reporter Kim Hyun-min = As Chelsea suffered a string injury for three consecutive games following the corona epidemic, the power leak on the defense side was greatly revealed.

Chelsea had to be content with a 1-1 draw in the 20th round of the 2021/22 season Premier League (PL) against Brighton & Hove Albion at Stamford Bridge home. At the same time, Chelsea have only 1 win and 3 draws in their last 4 PL matches. In particular, they fell into a slump in 5 matches, 1 win and 4 draws at home.

Chelsea's last 5 PL home results

Chelsea’s slump was caused by the coronavirus and injuries. Chelsea suffered a lack of strikers in the 10th round when Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner were both out of the squad due to injuries. Still, if it’s a consolation, then Chelsea’s attacking midfielder Kai Havertz made up for the absence of a front-line striker, and defenders such as Rhys James, Ben Chilwell, Antonio Rudiger and Trevor Chalova were able to continue their upward trend by scoring goals. In fact, Chelsea maintained the top spot in the PL until the 14th round.

However, Chelsea were out of the season when Chilwell suffered a severe ligament rupture in the Champions League round of 32 group stage 5 match against Juventus on 23 November, and key midfielders N’Golo Kante and Matteo Kovacic were injured around the same time. It started to shake slowly starting from the 13th round as it broke away from the power. As a result, Chelsea lost 1st place to Manchester City with only 1 win, 1 draw and 1 loss in 3 matches from Round 13 to Round 15.

Chelsea’s slump has been revealed in earnest with the coronavirus pandemic. Chelsea experienced an unfortunate incident (a total of 7 players according to Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel’s remarks) ahead of the 17th round against Everton. In the aftermath, Chelsea ended up in a draw against Everton and Wolverhampton Wanderers in a row.

At a press conference after the match against Wolverhampton, Tuchel said, “It was a decision that put a great risk on the health and safety of the players. It would not be strange if more players test positive in the next test. How can a mass infection not occur while eating while riding a ?

Chelsea miss 7 players due to coronavirus

As a result, Chelsea have suffered from injuries in their last three games in a row. In the match against Wolverhampton, Chalova and attacking midfielder Hakim Ziyech were substituted with injuries. In the 19th round against Villa on the 26th, veteran defender Thiago Silva was injured (Kante was also substituted during the match due to a minor injury).

In this match against Brighton, there were injuries, making Tuchel’s head hurt. After 27 minutes of play, James was injured and replaced by Marcos Alonso, and another defender Andreas Christensen, who continued to play while complaining of pain in the early game, was replaced at the end of the first half by Charova. In the end, Chelsea took the lead with Lukaku’s goal, but just before the end of the game, Brighton forward Danny Welbeck equalized and missed the victory.

Chelsea’s professional defenders, excluding the injured, now have only five players: Antonio Rudiger, Chalova, Cesar Aspilicueta, Malang Sar and Alonso. Considering that Chelsea use the three-back tactic of deploying five defenders (three center backs and left and right wing-backs), this is not enough. In this match against Brighton, Christian Pulisic, an attacking resource, even started as a right wing-back.

The bigger problem is that players who have suffered minor injuries due to line injuries on the defensive side following the corona pandemic are forced to compete. Right now, Chalova has been unstable for two games in a row, and some are pointing out that he hasn’t fully recovered from the injury he suffered against Wolverhampton. Although Kante was also substituted with a minor injury against Villa, he had to make a substitute against Brighton immediately. No matter how minor an injury is, there is a risk that it can lead to a bigger injury if you overdo it.

Chelsea are in a hurry to sign Everton left wing defender Luca Dinho on loan. In addition, Jules Kunde, a key Sevilla defender who tried to sign last summer, Wesley Popana (Leicester City), Mateis de Ligt (Juventus), Nicklas Jule (Bayern Munich), Fresnel Kimpembe (Paris Saint-Germain) , Bremer (Torino) and Nicolas Tagliafico (Ajax) have been linked with many defenders. In order to solve the problem of line injuries in the current defense, reinforcement of the defense is necessary. In particular, it is essential to reinforce the left flank, which Chilwell is no longer able to play this season.

Chelsea, James and Christensen injured



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