News Live Scores
Chelsea v Everton

'The situation is the situation' - Chelsea boss Tuchel confirms Covid-19 outbreak as Lukaku & Werner left out of squad for Everton clash

1:35 AM IST 17/12/21
Romelu Lukaku Chelsea 2021-22
Thomas Tuchel has been forced to leave out a number of key players for the Toffees' visit to Stamford Bridge

Chelsea have been rocked by a Covid-19 outbreak ahead of their clash against Everton, with Thomas Tuchel confirming four positive tests.

Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner and Callum Hudson-Odoi were all left out of Thomas Tuchel's squad for the game after contracting the virus.

Ben Chilwell, who is currently out injured, also tested positive and will join his three team-mates in quarantine for the next 10 days.

What's been said?

Tuchel confirmed that all four players have been diagnosed with Covid-19 ahead of kick-off against the Toffees at Stamford Bridge, while also explaining the absence of Kai Havertz.

"They are positive except Kai, including Ben Chilwell [who is also injured]," the Chelsea boss said to BT Sport. "Kai feels unwell, he is not positive yet but we're waiting for the test results and we decided to not bring him to the squad.

"We did some extra tests at 12 o'clock today to make sure who would arrive at lunch. From there we had to pick the team. Would it be the same line-up? I don't know.

"The situation started yesterday with players feeling unwell and not training. We had to confirm the flow tests and wait for the PCR results. The results are the results and the situation is the situation.

"We still have a strong squad and one we want to push forward, and that should be able to compete. Like always, we focus on the guys who are there."

Could Chelsea's schedule be affected?

Chelsea's clash with Everton has not been affected by the outbreak, but if they post any further positive tests their weekend meeting with Wolves could be thrown into doubt as the Covid-19 variant Omricron continues to sweep through English football.

Manchester United vs Brighton, Southampton v Brentford, Watford v Palace, West Ham v Norwich and Everton v Leicester have already been called off, with the majority of those clubs closing their training grounds to prevent any further spread of the virus.

Several Premier League managers have been vocal in calling for the postponement of fixtures, but Tuchel insists he is not among them.

"I don’t lose my concentration or energy with questions like this," he said. "I’m pretty sure Petr and Marina take care of this. We are in close contact with our doctors.

"At some point it’s getting difficult in terms of overuse of players, but I was not involved in these thoughts."

Further reading