Chelsea have had a request to postpone their clash with Wolves on Sunday rejected by the Premier League.
Six of this weekend’s ten scheduled Premier League games have been cancelled by the league due to COVID-19 outbreaks, but it has apparently been determined that Chelsea have enough fit players to play their game at Molineux.
Thomas Tuchel named just six players on his substitutes bench for the game, including two goalkeepers, and this ruling would raise further questions around the lack of clarity in what criteria necessitates a postponement.
And in a pre-match interview, Tuchel explained the situation to Sky Sports, expressing Chelsea’s frustration at the Premier League’s refusal to postpone the game.
“We were made to be in the bus, travel in the bus for three hours together, in meetings together, dinners, lunch,” he said.
“The situation does not feel like it will stop if we keep on doing this. We applied not to play, to give us time to put the situation under control. It was rejected. It does not matter if we can understand it because we cannot, it is very hard to understand for us.
“We know we are very concerned about the health of the players. We have sent players home to protect the health of the players. Now we have players on the bench just coming back from COVID.
“We have four consecutive days of positive tests from players and staff. How will this stop if we sit three hours on a bus, do meetings together and pretend it’s not happening
“It’s my opinion but it’s not the opinion of the Premier League so we have to play. We are disappointed, we are a bit angry but this doesn’t make us less competitive.”
The Blues have struggled in recent weeks, losing at West Ham, drawing at Zenit in the Champions League to lose top spot in their group to Juventus, before needing a late penalty to beat Leeds United and then dropping two more points at home to a depleted Everton side on Thursday.
Chelsea sit four points off Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table heading into today’s games, with City away at Newcastle United, while fellow title rivals Liverpool travel to Tottenham.