Thomas Tuchel has described losing Andreas Christensen as “a disaster” as Chelsea face up to an injury crisis ahead their huge clash against title rivals Liverpool on Sunday.
Christensen suffered a back injury in Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with Brighton and Chelsea also saw Reece James limp off with a hamstring injury.
Tuchel is already missing Thiago Silva, who suffered a hamstring injury in the 3-1 win at Aston Villa on Boxing Day and is unlikely to be fit in time to face Liverpool.
Trevoh Chalobah replaced Christensen at half-time against Brighton and he was outjumped by Danny Welbeck when he headed a 90th-minute equaliser to deny Chelsea victory.
The result leaves the Blues eight points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City.
Chelsea, who have been hit hard by Covid and injuries, play Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on New Year’s Day.
“It was a perfect match until the injury of Reece James and then everything collapsed more or less,” said Tuchel.
“Then the next injury with Andreas Christensen is a disaster to be honest, a disaster.
“Because we keep changing formations, every game we have one or two changes from injury, it is too much.”
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Tuchel, who faces an anxious wait to discover the severity of the injuries suffered by Christensen and James, added: “I said it weeks ago that this will happen, and now it happens.
“The challenge is that we are not sure what we can demand, we simply do not know what we can demand from Kova or from NG or from Romelu, or from all the guys who have Covid. We do not know. We do trial and error here.
“Nobody knows how long they can play, how much intensity they can play. And this is why we struggle. Guys are coming back from long injuries and we make them play, and we have to be honest we do not know what we can demand.”