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Chelsea winter break to-do list: three problems for Tuchel to solve

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Chelsea winter break to-do list: three problems for Tuchel to solve

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fter a brutal 16-game streak since early December, the winter break gives a tired Chelsea side a chance to regroup.

Here are three problems for Thomas Tuchel to be resolved during the two-week gap before playing next…

Rest, rest, rest

That’s the name of the game for Tuchel and his Chelsea players.

He gave them all the freedom of a week’s break, with players taking the opportunity to fly off for some well-deserved relaxation after such a hectic Christmas and New Year schedule.

Tuchel himself plans to take some time out. He looked visibly fatigued by his side’s alarming mid-season slump and the effect of injuries and Covid.

It will be fascinating to see if the break reinvigorates the European champions.

Erase wounds

Trevoh Chalobah and Reece James are both back in training after speeding up their recovery from hamstring injuries.

It is hoped both will be available for selection when Chelsea take on Plymouth in the FA Cup on February 5 – but even if not they should be ready to take part in the Club World Cup, which starts the month next.

Andreas Christensen is also expected to have recovered from a back injury.

England full-back Reece James is back in Chelsea training

/ Chelsea F.C. via Getty Images

Tuchel will then benefit from a workforce almost in good shape, with the exception of Ben Chilwell, absent for the rest of the season.

In a season decimated by injuries and Covid cases, Tuchel has rarely afforded the luxury of so many available players.

Last minute transfer company

Tuchel wanted his January deal to be over now. He even warned the club that the season could be ruined if he played while waiting for James to return.

Their title challenge has almost certainly run its course after failing to deal with the absence of the two first-choice wingers – but Tuchel still wants cover on the left as he focuses on cup competitions.

Recalling Emerson Palmieri from loan at Lyon is his preferred choice, but bringing in anyone is quickly becoming the priority in the final days of the window.

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