Chelsea forward to miss second leg against Real Madrid

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Thomas Tuchel has today told the media that Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku will not travel to Tuesday’s second leg of the Champions League tie against Real Madrid, having not recovered from a knock picked up in the first leg.

“The injury situation is that Callum Hudson-Odoi is still out, Ben Chilwell of course [is] still out, Romelu will not travel with us due to his pain in the Achilles”, Tuchel confirmed.

The Belgian did not feature in Chelsea’s 6-0 dismantling of Southampton at the weekend, but Chelsea will return with renewed optimism having been prolific in front of goal, as well as ensuring a much-needed clean sheet, having shipped seven goals in their two games prior.

Kai Havertz or Timo Werner will now likely lead the line for the Blues, with the latter, in particular, having enjoyed a fine outing at St Mary’s on Saturday, scoring two and rattling the woodwork on three occasions – it had the potential to be a monumental display for the German forward.

In other positive injury news, Tuchel also confirmed that club skipper, Cesar Azpilicueta, who missed the game against Southampton, due to Covid-19, is once again available for selection, “Azpi is in the group, he has tested [negative] several times”.

Chelsea can possess a strain of optimism heading into the second leg, stemming from the fact that they were able to pick up a result away to Real Madrid in the semi-final stages of last year’s competition on their way to eventually lifting the trophy. However, they will have to better the 1-1 result that they left with last time, and face a different task, with last year’s tie being played at an empty Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano stadium – a stark contrast to a packed Bernabeu.

“It cannot be more different” Tuchel stated. “It is one of the biggest challenges to perform away at the Bernabeu, it is even more difficult if you have to earn a certain result”, Tuchel added.

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