The Premier League have rejected a request from Chelsea to postpone Sunday’s meeting with Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The Blues were hit with a Covid-19 outbreak before the 1-1 draw with Everton in midweek, with Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ben Chilwell all testing positive for the virus. Kai Havertz was unwell but later tested negative.
Since then, reports have suggested that Chelsea may have uncovered at least three more positive tests, and The Telegraph claim that a request to postpone Sunday’s game has been knocked back by the Premier League.
A request was lodged on Sunday morning but the Premier League, who analyse each postponement request on a case-by-case basis, have turned it down.
Tuchel is not expected to struggle to name a side, but he will almost certainly have to turn to unfit players to fill out his squad, particularly if any players in tricky positions test positive as well.
In midfield, N’Golo Kante is not fully fit after only returning to training from a knee injury earlier this week, while Mateo Kovacic is now believed to have overcome both an injury and a positive Covid-19 test.
Jorginho and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have both been carrying knocks, while Trevoh Chalobah is only recently back from a hamstring injury and Marcos Alonso has been complaining of pain in his back,
Limited numbers saw Tuchel name two goalkeepers – Kepa Arrizabalaga and Marcus Bettinelli – on the bench for the Everton game, and while Kante and Kovacic could both return for this one, any further positives could leave Chelsea with fewer players than before.
Five of the six games scheduled for Saturday were postponed because of Covid-19 spikes in teams across the country, while Leicester’s trip to Everton on Sunday morning has already been called off.