Chelsea could welcome back Lukaku and Hudson-Odoi for Villa

Thomas Tuchel could welcome back two key players for their Boxing Day clash with Aston Villa.

Chelsea, like a number of their rivals, have been rocked by coronavirus issues of late, and back-to-back draws have seen them fall six points behind leaders Manchester City heading into Christmas.

Eight players in total have been sidelined across the last week or so, but with a 25-man squad, Chelsea have still been expected to continue playing.

There is light at the end of the tunnel, however, with two key forwards set to return to contention ahead of the Blues’ Boxing Day clash with Villa.

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Both Romelu Lukaku and Callum Hudson-Odoi are expected to return, just needing to provide negative tests before they can return.

Tuchel said in his pre-match press conference, as covered by the Mail: “If I understood it correctly, we need a negative test and we have negative tests for Romelu, Callum and Ben Chilwell.

“Although Ben Chilwell will not be involved against Aston Villa. The other two will be on the (training) pitch if they are again negative. Then, we need to see, they have been ill and have symptoms, but we will see.

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“It is a Premier League game at one of the toughest places where you can play in Aston Villa.

“It is good news, don’t get me wrong, but I am not over-excited now because I know I need to check how they are.”

That will give Chelsea fans cautious optimism ahead of the Villa clash when Tuchel’s men will need to turn up if they want to end their run of draws and avoid losing sight of Manchester City at the top.

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