Thomas Tuchel’s men travel to North London to face Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham, who were defeated by Liverpool and Brighton in the last two matches. Tuchel picked up his first win on Sunday against Burnley after a goalless draw against Wolves in his first match in charge of the Blues. Spurs are level on points with Chelsea having played a game less, and would be without their club captain Harry Kane, who suffered an injury during their defeat to Brighton.
Speaking ahead of his first London derby, Tuchel provided updates on injuries, opportunities for youngsters, and what to expect from Tottenham in the derby.
The Chelsea Head Coach confirmed Kurt Zouma and Kai Havertz are doubtful for the London derby after picking up injuries during the training sessions. The German added “We had two little issues today on the training pitch.”
“Kurt Zouma and Kai Havertz went off the pitch with little issues. They are checking now, doing images right now, and it’s questionable whether they are in the squad for tomorrow. Everybody else is available.“
On providing opportunities for youngsters
Having picked experienced players for his first game in charge, Tuchel said he would lean towards youngsters for their upcoming matches. The German named Chelsea academy graduates Mason Mount, Hudson-Odoi and Tammy Abraham in the starting lineup against Burnley. Tuchel admitted he was happy with the academy, and added “It’s a crucial point and I am absolutely pleased about the quality of the academy.”
“The guys we have here are a pleasure to work with, because first of all they have the quality, but also they have the physical ability to play in the Premier League.”
“I know how hard it is to play for Chelsea and compete for titles, but this is the challenge and I’m very pleased that all the Chelsea boys in the squad now take this challenge because it does something to your character and approach.”
“It’s very important that we rely on them and trust them and don’t confuse them being inexperienced with a lack of quality. They will be given every chance to leave their footprints here.“
“But in the end we have to accept it’s about quality and delivering in the moment. There are no gifts for nobody.”
On the London derby against Tottenham
The German admitted he was happy and excited to play against a top side, and added “I am very happy to compete with a strong team against his side. I am very happy to arrive with our quality, with our mentality and with the atmosphere we have right now. That’s the most important thing.”
“Tottenham are very competitive, and very strong. It will be a challenge. Is it a clash of cultures? I don’t know. Jose is a winner and I want to implement the same in my team. We are at the highest level to win games and we will try everything tomorrow to beat them in their stadium.”