Why Callum Hudson-Odoi & Cesar Azpilicueta are absent for Chelsea vs Palace


An explanation for the respective absences of Chelsea pair Cesar Azpilicueta and Callum Hudson-Odoi for the club's meeting with Crystal Palace has been provided on Saturday afternoon.

The Blues are of course currently locked in action at Selhurst Park, in their return to Premier League action on the back of sealing glory at the FIFA Club World Cup.

Early in proceedings in south London, the scoreline remains locked at 0-0, albeit with Thomas Tuchel's troops having enjoyed the better of things thus far.

As alluded to above, though, such efforts on the part of Chelsea have come with the Pensioners unable to call on a pair of key members of the club's squad, in the form of Callum Hudson-Odoi and Cesar Azpilicueta.

Speaking ahead of the action getting underway at Selhurst, Thomas Tuchel was therefore inevitably drawn on the whereabouts of both players.

And the German went on to confirm that, unfortunately, Hudson-Odoi and Azpilicueta were ruled out of proceedings at the last minute, owing to respective injury concerns:

'Waiting for him'

Whilst two members of Tuchel's ranks are added to the list of walking wounded at Stamford Bridge, though, another is inching towards an imminent return.

The player in question? Reece James.

Speaking in a press conference on Friday, Chelsea's boss was drawn on long-term absentee James' status, and went on to confirm that the plan is for the English international to rejoin first-team training at some point next week:

“Like always, you have the risk with a physical player like Reece is with a muscle injury there is a delay. We are waiting for him. The plan is he re-joins the group next week.”

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Conor Laird

Conor Laird

Die-hard Juventus fan with a love for all things Italian, and a real soft spot for Arsenal cult heroes. Emmanuel Eboue, Nicklas Bendtner, Philippe Senderos... Give them all statues outside the Emirates.

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