Thomas Tuchel reveals Reece James and Ben Chilwell fitness statuses ahead of Chelsea's clash against Spurs – SPORTbible

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Published 15:3709 August 2022 BST
| Last updated 15:3709 August 2022 BST

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has provided a fitness update on wing-back duo Reece James and Ben Chilwell ahead of their clash against Tottenham Hotspur.
Both players started in the Blues’ 1-0 win against Everton on the opening weekend of the Premier League season, with Chilwell winning the penalty that proved to be the only goal of the game.
The win saw Chelsea claim their first points of the new season, and they will return to Stamford Bridge this weekend to face London rivals Spurs.
Tuchel’s side were able to claim victory against their rivals in all four occasions last season, with two wins in the Premier League and a further two in the Carabao Cup semi-finals.
However, Spurs have flourished under former Blues boss Antonio Conte in recent months and have strengthened during the summer, with six new signings arriving at the club.
Ahead of the clash in west London, Tuchel has revealed the fitness statuses of his two wing-back options, who both struggled with injuries in the previous campaign.
When speaking to the media after the win against Everton via the Evening Standard, he said: “Today we played with Ben Chilwell who was not, for me, 100 per cent ready to start but the situation with Marcos Alonso and the late signing of Marc Cucurella made it necessary that we took the risk.
“Reece (James) struggles also at the moment to have full, full fitness so on the right we didn’t have enough from the wing backs to create a bit more freedom for the inner players.”
James played the full 90 minutes at Goodison Park, and Chilwell’s start against the Merseyside outfit was his first for Chelsea since November.
The 25-year-old injured his anterior cruciate ligament in their Champions League group stage match against Juventus.
There was optimism that he would make a swift recovery and slowly make a return to the side, but he suffered a setback during the festive period and faced further time on the sidelines.
He then made his first appearance back in the side in the final day of the last season, coming on as a late substitute in the 2-1 win against Watford.
During a post-match interview at the weekend, he revealed how it felt to start a match for the first time in just under nine months.
“I’ve had the whole of pre-season and a few extra weeks coming in early. It’s completely different to today. It’s intense. 
“One of the toughest places to come here, first game and happy to get the win. I’m exhausted.”
Ahead of Sunday’s game against Spurs, Chelsea could see one of their attacking options depart the club.
Timo Werner is close to re-joining RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga, with the German shining there before his move to west London.
He will join on a four-year deal, spelling the end of his Chelsea career after two seasons.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
Topics: Thomas Tuchel, Chelsea, Reece James, Ben Chilwell, Tottenham Hotspur, Premier League
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