Chelsea handed huge Real Madrid boost as important Thomas Tuchel request is granted
Real Madrid are set to face Chelsea in the Champions League quarter-finals, almost a year after Thomas Tuchel’s side knocked Los Blancos out in Europe.Information Guide Nigeria
The two sides faced each other in the Champions League for the first time in their history last season, with the match-up coming in the semi-finals, and Real Madrid now have the opportunity to take revenge on the Premier League side.
Nevertheless, the West London giants have been handed a boost, as a key player set to return to action, according to the head coach Thomas Tuchel.
“The recommendation is that he does not go,” Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel said rather emphatically in the bowels of the Riverside Stadium on Saturday. “There is no doubt about it.
“He is still in individual training and needs one more week of rehabilitation. I think we can provide this much better – it is not the job of the national team.”
The player in question was Reece James, who has this season proved himself one of European football’s finest wing-backs. The academy graduate had missed Chelsea’s previous three matches due to a muscular issue yet had still been named in the England squad for their forthcoming friendlies against Switzerland and Ivory Coast.
James was absent against Middlesbrough too – the 22-year-old left at Cobham alongside fellow injured stars Andreas Christensen and Callum Hudson-Odoi. So it was clear he was not ready to join up with the Three Lions and, thankfully for Chelsea, his withdrawal is set to be announced today.
That will give James the best part of two weeks to recover and regain his fitness. All being well, Tuchel will be able to call upon the defender for the Premier League clash against Brentford after the international break. Then comes the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final against Real Madrid.
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Chelsea are favourites to progress beyond the Spanish giants; that the Blues ran over Los Blancos in the last four of last season’s competition is part of the reason why. But what Real proved against Paris Saint-Germain in the Round of 16 is that they can never be written off, especially in the Champions League.
Tuchel’s side will need to be at its best. James – who was compared to a horse earlier this term by the Blues head coach – is crucial to that. He has proved as much time and time again this term.
Report from FBRef has it that James is a game-changer for Chelsea at right wing-back – the data very much highlights that. In the Premier League this term, he has averaged 0.84 goals and assists per 90. No member of the Blues squad can match that. And Cesar Azpilicueta, who has stood in for the academy graduate in recent weeks, averages just 0.13 goals and assists per 90. It is a stark drop-off.JAMB Result
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