It’s always interesting to watch how the top teams approach the EFL Cup, as it seems to be the case that they are happy if they win it but they also seem happy to accept an early exit from the tournament.
It does mean that squad rotation is pretty common, but there were more absences than expected tonight from Thomas Tuchel’s side as it wasn’t just Lukaku and Werner who missed out.
It appears that Ruben Loftus-Cheek, N’Golo Kante, Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta were all left out for injury reasons, but there’s no need to be concerned about them missing too many games:
Told there is nothing to worry about regarding Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and N'Golo Kante absences from the squad. All have minor issues.
But of course, we'll get full updates from Thomas Tuchel after tonight's game.
— Adam Newson (@AdamNewson) October 26, 2021
In terms of this game, Christensen and Kante are regular starters when fit so you would expect them to be rested anyway, while Azpilicueta would probably be in the same situation too.
It’s a blow for Ruben Loftus-Cheek because injuries have derailed his career over the years, so what he needs is to play as much as he can to establish himself into the team and earn future starting opportunities.
This has also been a heavy schedule for Chelsea with the Champions League and Premier League games coming thick and fast, but it’s not clear if the four will be available to play against Newcastle this weekend yet.