Chelsea forced to 'start from scratch' for Carabao Cup quarter-final

Tuchel reveals another Covid-19 positive case in squad ahead of match against Brentford

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said he has his hands tied while selecting a squad for their Carabao Cup quarter-final after reporting yet another Covid-19 case.

The Blues could name only four outfield players on their bench during Sunday's draw against Wolves following a virus outbreak and injuries.

They were hoping to field midfielder Lewis Baker against Brentford after a number of academy stars trained with the first team. But he also has tested positive.

"We can now start from scratch, and this is what we do right now," said Tuchel. "We've delayed training until late afternoon. Right now we will prepare for the match to be played.

"But even to plan training is pretty exciting because until the very last hour you don't know how many players will arrive."

Tuchel lamented having to rest N'Golo Kante due to his recent knee issue. However Jorginho will return, having tested negative for Covid.

"Right now every day we do lateral flow tests and PCR tests, and only then you are allowed to be in the building. So this is the first lottery: you go to work and you don't know if you can make it to your office.

"Which is good, because then it's safe, at least for this day. And the next day you get tested again."

In their previous game, Chelsea - who had only six players on the bench including two goalkeepers after seven infections depleted their squad - had asked the Premier League to postpone the game. Tuchel said Chelsea were "angry" at the decision to play.

"I don't care about the point. I am pleased with the performance, especially in the second half. The first half was a bit of a struggle for us, we had to grow into the game," Tuchel had said.

"It is not safe. We talk about protecting players and a safe environment but it is not safe. I would not be surprised if the next test shows up and we have more positives."

Updated: December 21st 2021, 6:54 PM