Thomas Tuchel has confirmed that Antonio Rudiger and Mateo Kovacic will miss Sunday afternoon’s match with West Ham United. Both Rudiger and Kovacic picked up groin and ankle injuries during Chelsea’s FA Cup semi-final win over Crystal Palace last weekend.
Therefore, the Blues duo missed Wednesday’s disappointing defeat to Arsenal in the Premier League. Now, Tuchel, when speaking in his pre-match press conference on Friday afternoon, confirmed they would both be sidelined on Sunday.
He said: “No [they are not back], for Sunday’s match, both [Kovacic and Rudiger] are not back. But also no other injuries.”
Chelsea clearly missed their important duo on Wednesday, with their defensive performance poor against the Gunners. The midfield was not too much better, and the legs of Kovacic were seemingly missed at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues have played plenty of matches recently – six in 18 days since the recent international break – and Tuchel admitted there is some sort of mental fatigue settling into his squad. “Always [there’s mental fatigue], but I am used to it. I reflect on the signals we give.
“We only had two days between the games coming from Wembley, and I felt very tired after the Southampton, Real Madrid and then the Wembley game. I felt it. I asked myself what signals I gave and whether I should’ve pushed harder.
“On an evening game, I think there is still enough time to prepare and get into the right mood. You don’t always feel the same level of excitement before every match, and you shouldn’t expect it.
“It has nothing to do with that you do it less serious or prepare with less quality. I don’t want to get confused with this thinking now because we trust ourselves and prepare with the best way possible. But it is a bit of a weird result.”