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  • Billy Wooldridge

‘It’s noise that we don’t need’-Thomas Tuchel on Romelu Lukaku’s comments ahead Liverpool tie

Chelsea host Liverpool in the Premier League on Sunday evening in this weekends mouth-watering tie as the second and third placed teams look to catch Manchester City at the top of the table.

Three points for either team will be welcomed with open arms as Pep Guardiola’s side sit eight points above Tuchel’s side and nine above Jurgen Klopp’s.

However both sides have had their preparation for Sundays tie disrupted with various issues surrounding their teams.

On Thursday, a Romelu Lukaku interview recorded three weeks ago with Sky Sport Italia was released, in which the club record £97.5m striker revealed that he was ‘not happy’ with his current role at Chelsea.

The Belgian went on to declare his love for his previous side Inter Milan stating, ‘I really hope in the depths of my heart to return to Inter’.

In Tuchel’s press conference today speaking to Jamie Ware of Sky Sports News he stated that, ‘we don’t like it of course, because it brings noise that we don’t need and that’s not helpful.’

When asked whether Lukaku would receive any punishments for his interview, Tuchel replied with, ‘we will (punish him) and we will do it behind closed doors.’

Liverpool’s job of securing three points has also been toughened after Klopp confirmed today in his press conference speaking to Vinny O’Connor of Sky Sports News that ‘we have three new Covid cases in the team and a few more in the staff.’

When asked whether they Liverpool have requested for the game to be postponed, Klopp responded with ‘not yet, but we don’t know…it’s like a lottery in the morning when you’re waiting for the results, we have to wait but in this moment probably not.’

Can Chelsea and Liverpool still catch Manchester City?

Both managers were asked how important a win would be in the title race and whether Manchester City are too far ahead to catch now.

Tuchel responded to Ian Abraham of TalkSport with, ‘we never give up, why should we stop a race in the middle of the race. We never think about stuff like this.’

Klopp also responded to O’Connor’s question with, ‘the only chance to catch anybody who is ahead of you is to win football games. We will go there and try everything; you don’t win at Stamford Bridge with an average performance.

We cannot catch them (Manchester City) without playing football.’

Team News

It is unknown whether Tuchel’s ‘punishment’ for Lukaku’s comments will be include dropping the striker Sundays game, but there are still a few names who have been confirmed out injured for Chelsea.

Ben Chilwell is undergoing surgery on his ACL injury with Tuchel declaring that his season is ‘probably over.’

Reece James and Andreas Christensen are both out with thigh and back problems respectively, whilst Timo Werner is still out with Covid.

Thiago Silva faces a late fitness test and Ruben Loftus-Cheek is still struggling with his ankle problems.

Liverpool fans will have to wait and see who the three positive Covid cases are with Klopp stating, ‘on the team sheet it will be pretty clear who has been effected.’

Andy Robertson will be serving his third and final suspension after his red card against Tottenham.

Takumi Minamino and Thiago are still recovering from muscle injuries, but both are expected to be back in training within the next week and Nat Phillips, Harvey Elliot and Divok Origi still remain absent.

African Cup of Nations departures

Sundays game will be the last round of Premier League games before the commencement of the 2022 African Cup of Nations tournament in Cameroon.

Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita will all be leaving Merseyside, and Edouard Mendy leaving Cobham after the conclusion of Sundays tie.

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