‘If you have this in the wrong time you can lose Club World Cup matches, you can lose Champions League matches, you can lose crucial Carabao Cup matches and league matches. With four or five weeks out you can lose 10 to 12 matches. This can be too much.’
Looking at the current squad, whether he is playing a three-man defence with wing-backs as he has done for the majority of the season, or a back-four as against Tottenham midweek, Tuchel highlights that he has only one player who is ideal to fit where Reece James may have played.
‘If we play in the back-five, it’s Azpi, if we play a back-four and the need is maybe a bit more defensive full-back with different characteristics to protect the offensive players, it is also Azpi. Maybe it could be Trevoh Chalobah but he is out with injury.