Romelu Lukaku is fit for Chelsea’s trip to Brentford on Saturday but a frustrated Thomas Tuchel has revealed Antonio Rudiger will join fellow centre-back Thiago Silva in missing out.
Superstar striker Lukaku withdrew from Belgium duty with muscle fatigue and was a doubt for the Premier League leaders’ short hop across west London.
However, Blues boss Tuchel told a pre-match news conference: “Romelu is fine, had all training sessions, he will play tomorrow.”
The news was not so positive on Rudiger, though, after he came back from his time with Germany with a back issue.
Christian Pulisic remains out, while Hakim Ziyech has been struggling with headaches.
“Toni Rudiger came back injured from the national team, Christian Pulisic is still injured, we have doubts of Ziyech – he missed two sessions with a headache,” Tuchel said.
Veteran centre-back Silva is also absent having featured in Brazil’s 4-1 World Cup qualifying win over Uruguay on Thursday night.
The short turnaround between that clash and Saturday’s fixture is a source of frustration for Tuchel, who says the situation is one he has learned to contend with.
“He will be back in the afternoon hopefully safe from this match in Brazil,” he said of Silva.
“We had our talk today about Brentford, we had our tactical talk, he missed all that. He played 90 minutes, had all that travelling, he is not available.
“Of course, I’m not happy, but I knew before when he will come back, when he will travel. I got used to a lot of stuff in national breaks, this is how it is. Are we happy all the coaches with the games players play for their countries? No, they [are] not. Do they ask us anything? No. I knew it before.
“We speak about it during UEFA coaches meetings. The calendar, you have to accept it.
“I’m not even too frustrated about it, but I think it’s too many games, too many competitions for the top players in the clubs. The game is for the players, for the spectators, and spectators want the best players on the pitch, healthy and hungry, and we cannot always provide it if you play so many games in so many competitions.
“Given we only have three [substitute] changes, unlike five in other leagues, it’s a big thing we have to cope with.
“I’m actually not too frustrated, I know what’s coming, I know when the next international break is coming, we try to do our best in every international break.”