Thomas Tuchel explains Saul Niguez absence from Chelsea starting line-up in Zenit clash

0 Thomas Tuchel before Chelsea vs Zenit St Petersburg

Chelsea have returned to action in the UEFA Champions League tonight, less than four months on from their 2020/21 final win over Manchester City in Porto.

Drawn in Group H, the Blues are expected to top their group, but passage through to the knockout rounds will not be simple.

Juventus, despite their patchy form over the past year, remain a huge threat to Chelsea finishing in top spot. No trip to northern Russia to face Zenit is easy. And while Malmo may be the weakest side in the group, they will not be brushed aside with ease.

Tuchel has decided to ring the changes from Saturday’s 3-0 win over Aston Villa in the Premier League as five fresh faces have started tonight’s match-up with Zenit.

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One player who has missed out on a starting spot is new signing Saul Niguez.

The Spaniard had a fairly torrid debut in blue, but it seems as though the decision is purely tactical from Tuchel, who has explained that he still trusts that Saul will do well at Stamford Bridge.

Speaking to BT Sport before the game, Tuchel said: “We have five changes. It’s not the moment, only two days to put him in again, we trust him.

“It’s no problem but Jorginho fresh and Kova [Kovacic] had a great game so its more a decision for these two than to Saul, he had a tough start it was a tough game against Aston Villa.

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“We have some strong guys on the bench and he’s one of them.”

The German continued by explaining that his side have now been boosted by some players returning to fitness following what was a busy international break.

“They were all on international duties so now they are fresh we had some changes against Aston Villa because some of them came home very late with three games in their legs we have Hakim and Mason together as half strikers,” he added.

“Let’s see. We trust everybody.”

Source by Football London

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