Tuchel Provides Updates on Christian Pulisic, Thiago Silva and Hakim Ziyech

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Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel, at his weekly news conference, provided updates on the status of wingers Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech, as well as central defender Thiago Silva. It’s his comments about that last one, the Brazilian, which are making their rounds today.

Silva will miss out on the west London derby against Brentford because his country, Brazil, staged their World Cup qualifier on Thursday night, and that match comes way too close to kickoff, in terms of getting back on the other side of the world in time, and ready to play. Amazing that we even have to write sentences like this, but the Premier League just plain refuses to postpone the games, and give their South American players adequate time to return.

Brentford v Chelsea FYIs

Kick: 5:30pm, Brentford Community Stadium, West London, UK

TV: NBC

Chelsea Starting XI Prediction: go here

Premier League Preview Podcast: go here

Head to Head: Chelsea wins 8, Draws 4, Brentford wins 4

Other leagues have done this, adjusted their schedule in accordance with this problem.

Silva is only due back in London late on Friday, inspiring Tuchel to hit out at the massive failure that this situation has become (for numerous teams, not just Chelsea).

“We had our talk today about training, we had our tactical training about, he missed all that,” Tuchel said of Silva.

“He played 90 minutes, he has 12 hours of travelling so that is maybe the answer of his availability. He is not.

“Of course I am not happy but I knew it before when he will come back and we knew before when he travels. So, nothing new. I got used to a lot of stuff in national breaks. This is how it is nowadays.

“Are we happy about it, all the coaches, with the amount of games out players play for their countries? No, we are not. Does anybody ask us? No, also not. Does it change anything?

“Also, not. I don’t get angry because of this, I knew it before.

“We speak about it during the UEFA coaches meetings but the calendar is the calendar and you have to accept it. I’m not even like too frustrated about it. I don’t like it. I think it is too many competitions, too many games for the top players in the clubs.

“The game is for the players and for the spectators and the spectators want to have the top players on the pitch, they want them healthy and fit and in shape and hungry. You cannot always provide it if you play so many games in so many different competitions.

“Given the fact we only have three [substitutions] in the Premier League and not five like all the other leagues, it is a big thing which we have to cope with. But I am not actually too frustrated. Maybe it is just my body language — I know what is coming.”

It is ridiculous, and who knows whether the PL will actually do anything about it or not. Hakim Ziyech is a doubt ,having missed two training sessions due to a headache while Tuchel’s countryman Antonio Rudiger is out with a back injury he sustained while on international duty with Germany.

Also, “Christian Pulisic is still injured and not available,” according to Tuchel. The American hasn’t featured for Chelsea since mid-August, and he’s been out since injuring his ankle against Honduras on Sept 9.

Also, the concerns about the fitness of Romelu Lukaku have proven to be much ado about nothing. See below:

Prediction: Chelsea 2, Brentford 1

While we are BEE-lievers here at this website, we just don’t believe, strongly enough, they’ll pull off the upset here.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune.

He co-hosts the After Extra Time podcastFollow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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