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Star player missing as Thomas Tuchel releases Chelsea lineup against Southampton EPL clash



Star player missing as Thomas Tuchel releases Chelsea lineup against Southampton EPL clash

Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea will be aiming for a bounce-back performance this weekend after back-to-back home defeats during the international break. The Blues have produced two super performances and have been soundly defeated by Brentford and Real Madrid.

Tuchel’s thoughts will be on their midweek encounter with Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu, with Chelsea also out of the championship race and Liverpool and Manchester City competing for the top place.

And he’s had three injuries ahead of Saturday’s game. Lukaku and Ziyech missed training on Thursday, while Callum Hudson-Odoi is still nursing an Achilles issue. Chelsea’s star will be sidelined for weeks rather than days.

Jack Harrison opened the scoring for Leeds shortly before the half-hour mark.

With barely four minutes left in the second half, Ward-Prowse scored a superb free-kick to force a draw at Elland Road and stop Southampton’s alarming losing run.

In the Premier League, Hasenhuttl’s team have grabbed only one point from the last 12 available, leaving them in 12th place, one point from a top-half finish.

The Saints have conceded nine goals in their last four Premier League games, despite previously being strong in front of their own supporters.

Since failing to score against Wolverhampton Wanderers in September, Hasenhuttl’s team have scored in each of their previous 12 Premier League home games, and their defensive discipline has improved.

Hudson-Odoi and Ben Chilwell did not play in Chelsea’s Champions League quarter-final loss to Real Madrid on Tuesday. After Karim Benzema’s hat trick, the Blues brought on Ziyech and Lukaku in the second half. His Achilles hurts. Tuchel hopes to get them back in training on Friday afternoon, but they need tests to make sure they can go to St Mary’s.

St Mary’s have won eight of their 30 games so far this season but have lost 10. But with nine points between them and ninth-placed Crystal Palace, the Saints are still in contention. A four-game losing streak has depleted Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men’s momentum.

Chelsea, like the hosts, have lost two games in a row. Chelsea have not lost in 90 minutes in any of their previous 14 games in all competitions until the recent setbacks. Even if their Premier League defeat to Brentford had little impact, their UEFA Champions League loss to Real Madrid has put them in danger of being knocked out.

Mendy, Christensen, Silva, Rudiger, Alonso, Kante, Loftus-Cheek, Kovacic, Mount, Havertz, Werner