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Chelsea’s Lukaku, Werner out vs Norwich, Tuchel backs Havertz to step up

ROMELU Lukaku and Timo Werner will miss Chelsea’s next two games against Norwich and Southampton due to their respective injuries, Thomas Tuchel has confirmed.

Werner (hamstring) and Lukaku (ankle) were both forced off before half-time in their 4-0 Champions League win over Malmo at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.

Christian Pulisic will also be unavailable for their game against Daniel Farke’s side as the forward continues with his recovery from an ankle injury.

Tuchel said on Friday: “To make the question a longer one, how is Pulisic too? They are all out tomorrow and probably the Southampton game and then we will see.

“What I can tell you for sure is they are both in treatment, positive and not worried but out of the next two games for sure.

“I don’t think it makes sense to go into speculation about how long [the players will be sidelined for] because you never know. Things can be shorter than expected or longer than expected.”

Chelsea’s head coach said he did not regret playing Lukaku against Malmo despite stating before the game that he thought the Belgian striker was overplayed during the international break.

The injury setback comes as a blow for Lukaku who has begun life back at Stamford Bridge in fine form, scoring three goals in seven Premier League games since returning to the club from Inter Milan.

Tuchel added: “Mentally he is a bit overplayed but that does not mean we have to rest him. Jorginho and Mason Mount are in the same spot. It is like this, they have played in a lot of competitions.

“This is what we felt with Romelu so we encouraged him to trust his instincts, let us do the thinking and the structure that he will be able to have the last contact.”

Chelsea have a busy playing schedule with five games in the space of 15 days and Tuchel will need to adapt his starting XI on Saturday given the two high-profile absentees.

One suggestion has been to play Kai Havertz further forward, with the German having deputised up front alongside Callum Hudson-Odoi after Lukaku and Werner were substituted on Wednesday.

Tuchel said: “He [Havertz] is not a false nine because he is very strong in behind the last line. When he plays as a nine, we want this from him and he did it against Malmo.

“Kai was not on his personal highest level so it was necessary that he waited some matches. He did what he needed to do and he worked hard.”
Sky Sports 

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