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Carabao Cup: Tuchel to play Chelsea U23, Academy players against Brentford

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Chelsea manager, Thomas Tuchel, has admitted he may have to field players from the U23s and the academy for their Carabao Cup clash at Brentford.

Tuchel said he was “sad” that his team are currently unable to compete at the “highest level”.

The Blues have been hit hard by the recent spike in COVID-19 cases and had seven first-team players unavailable for their 0-0 draw at Wolves on Sunday.

One of those players – Jorginho – will be able to return for their Carabao Cup quarter-final against Brentford on Wednesday, after it was confirmed he had recorded a false positive, but the other six remain absent.

With Chelsea facing a run of four matches in 12 days, Tuchel has now said he may have no choice but to call on the club’s inexperienced young players at Brentford.

“They trained with us yesterday and today. We made them come for two training sessions because it’s necessary.

“We have to protect our players and that’s why we brought in the academy and we think about playing with them.

“It can happen tomorrow that we prioritise the health – not the game against Aston Villa – and do not take any risks with some of our players.

“This is totally against our nature but maybe we are forced to do it. It makes me sad because this is not what sport is about and this is not what we are about.

“We are so competitive – that’s why we work here and that’s why the players signed for Chelsea. We are fighting for every competition.

“I absolutely don’t like judging the importance of games because you can never tell. There is nothing more important than winning, performing together and fighting together,” Tuchel said.