Chelsea’s complicated period of the season shows no sign of stopping as they travel to Wolves on Sunday for a Premier League fixture.
The Blues’ endured a setback against Everton in midweek, with a late equaliser from their opponents meaning they were held to a 1-1 draw that leaves them four points behind leaders Manchester City.
Three wins in seven league matches is a run that has seen them tumble off first place, and if they are to maintain genuine hopes of winning the title, it is a sequence that must stop quickly.
Covid, however, has hampered their plans ahead of the trip to Wolves.
Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner and Callum Hudson-Odoi have all tested positive for the virus along with Ben Chilwell, who is a long-term absentee in any case. None of these four players can feature.
Meanwhile, Mateo Kovacic and Kai Havertz are both making their way back from illness. Kovacic appears the better placed to start, although after missing for a couple of months it will still be complicated for him.
Nevertheless, he could be pressed into action given the Jorginho and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are both doubtful in the midfield. These were Tuchel’s two starters against Everton, so if they do drop out, it will signal a major turnover in the squad.
N’Golo Kante should come into the starting XI, with the World Cup winner having also known injury issues lately, while Saul Niguez is also in contention in midfield along with Ross Barkley.
Andreas Christensen and Trevoh Chalobah will be pushing to be rotated into the defence.
In attack, meanwhile, the Blues are relatively short of options. They did not boast a single senior attacking player among their ranks of substitutes against the Toffees and may well have to lean on the trio of Christian Pulisic, Hakim Ziyech and Mason Mount, who has scored in four successive matches, once again.