Chelsea Team News vs Liverpool FC: Lukaku, James, Werner, Silva

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Chelsea hosts Liverpool on Sunday in what is the headliner of the Premier League New Year’s round of fixture. It’s also a very tightly contested series, encompassing 59 games. Chelsea have won 21 times, Liverpool have taken 23 while the total number of draws equals 15.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the latest Chelsea team news, starting with malcontent Romelu Lukaku letting it be known how much he does not like Thomas Tuchel’s tactics. This is not something that many of us really saw coming, to be honest.

Liverpool vs Chelsea FYIs

Kick off: 11:30am ET, Sunday Jan 2

Team News:  Chelsea   Liverpool FC

Starting XI Predictions:  Chelsea   Liverpool FC

Premier League Preview Podcast: go here

Odds: Chelsea +200  Draw +240   Liverpool FC  +130

Form Guide:  Chelsea  DWDDW   Liverpool FC   LDWWW

TV: USA Network    Online: Stream via NBCSports.com

“Physically I am fine. But I’m not happy with the situation at Chelsea,” Lukaku said to the media today.

“Tuchel has chosen to play with another system – I won’t give up, I’ll be professional. I am not happy with the situation but I am professional – and I can’t give up now.”

Lukaku didn’t stop there. In addition to his issues with the German’s tactical switch, the big Belgian also revealed that he wasn’t actually ready to leave Inter Milan this past summer and that he hopes to head back to the Serie A giants someday.

“I think everything that happened last summer was not supposed to happen like this… how I left Inter, the way I left the club, how I communicated with Inter fans – this bothers me because it was not the right time,” Lukaku  continued.

“Now it’s the right time to share my feelings. I have always said that I have Inter in my heart: I know I will return to Inter, I really hope so. I am in love with Italy, this is right moment to talk and let people know what really happened.

“I really hope from bottom of my heart to return to Inter not at the end of my career, but when I’m still at top level to win more together I want apologize to the Inter fan, timing of my words was wrong: what you did for me will remain forever.”

Uhm, yeah, this is not going to help anyone involved with the west London club right now. Regardless of how he feels, and he’s entitled to his feelings, he’s dead wrong about saying this is the right time to state those feelings.

It’s wrong, and only bad things can come from this, as it all greatly undermines Tuchel.

Elsewhere, Timo Werner could return after recently testing positive for COVID while Thiago Silva, Andreas Christensen and Reece James are all likely out of commission; with the last name there having suffered an injury in Chelsea’s midweek outing, a draw with Brighton.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek is on the mend from an ankle injury, but this match could come too soon for him.

Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Bank (TheSportsBank.Net) and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”

He has regularly appeared in WGNSports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune, and co-hosts the After Extra Time podcastFollow him on Twitter and Instagram

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