Tuchel has Covid: Chelsea manager's absence explained as Blues boss misses Plymouth Argyle FA Cup clash

Thomas Tuchel
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The German will now self-isolate and hope to return in time to jet off to Abu Dhabi for the Club World Cup

Chelsea have confirmed that head coach Thomas Tuchel has tested positive for Covid-19 and will therefore miss his side's FA Cup clash with Plymouth Argyle.

The Blues take on the League One side at Stamford Bridge on February 5, before then heading out to Abu Dhabi to participate in the Club World Cup.

Tuchel is, however, hopeful of being able to join the rest of the squad in the United Arab Emirates next week, with their first match of the competition taking place on February 9.

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What's the latest?

Chelsea released a statement on February 5, a little over an hour before their FA Cup fourth-round fixture against Plymouth Argyle was due to kick-off, confirming that Tuchel had Covid-19.

The statement read: "The Chelsea head coach will now follow necessary self-isolation protocols and hopes to join up with the team in Abu Dhabi later next week.

"The team fly out for the Club World Cup following this afternoon's FA Cup clash with Plymouth Argyle."

Who will take charge of the team vs Plymouth?

Tuchel's assistant Arno Michels will be the main man in the dugout in the former Dortmund head coach's absence.

Michels has previously worked alongside Tuchel at Mainz, Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain, while he spent his playing career in the third and fourth tiers of German football.

He began his coaching career, meanwhile, in the 2.Bundesliga with Eintracht Trier and LV Ahlen, before joining up with Tuchel in 2009.

Speaking before the meeting with Plymouth, Michels told reporters: "He (Tuchel) was fully in charge throughout the whole week with the preparation for the game so he knows exactly what's going on today.

"We will stay in touch with him during the game as well so it's all good."

Do any of the Chelsea players have Covid-19?

It is not suspected that any of the Chelsea first-team squad have Covid-19 at present, although a number of players have been forced to miss games in the past due to testing positive.

Indeed, almost every player in the Blues squad is understood to have tested positive for coronavirus, with centre-back Andreas Christensen the last to have been forced into self-isolation.

Despite their various absentees, and other rival Premier League clubs having had fixtures postponed, the Blues haven't yet had a match called off in the 2021-22 campaign, with their request to have the game against Wolves rescheduled having been declined.

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