Christian Pulisic Draws Starting Assignment, Praise from Thomas Tuchel

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We specifically predicted that American Christian Pulisic would get a starting nod tonight against Juventus, and indeed he did (You can see the entire starting XI in tweet below).

Currently at halftime, Chelsea lead Juve 1-0 in their UEFA Champions League group stage match. That’s thanks to a Trevor Chalobah goal, and if this result holds, the Blues are through to the knockout round. Before the game kicked off, Chelsea had already cemented a place in at least the Europa League knockout round.

Pulisic earned his first team assignment having come off the bench, and scored against Leicester on Saturday.

Tuchel praised the qualities that the 23-year-old brings to the table.

“It is one of his key qualities to arrive exactly like this, very in the box but not only in the box but also in the six-yard box. That is a top quality from him and we need this,” the German said.

“He gives us something from repetitive sprints, intensity on and off the ball, but he is at the end of the attacks, he is hungry to score and to arrive in the box.”

Pulisic has only played 246 minutes of competitive football this season, entering tonight, as he’s battled an ankle injury and the isolation that was mandated from a positive covid-19 test.

So while he doesn’t play that often, when he does, he is almost always on.

Tuchel added:

“This is where we need players to be dangerous and to score. Very happy that after a long time where he suffered from Coronavirus and injury that he is back and decisive straight away.”

If you recall the Project Restart period, Pulisic was Chelsea’s most dangerous player, and among the most important footballers in the Premier League.

That’s the potential he brings, if he can stay healthy.

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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