Chelsea News: The Blues have been busy soaking in more sun and undergoing more light training ahead of Wednesday’s clash against Al-Hilal
Chelsea have undergone their second day of warm weather training in Abu Dhabi as they prepare to face Al Hilal, who come into this semi-final buzzing after their 6-1 trouncing of local side Al Jazira.
Goals from well known names like Odion Ighalo, Moussa Marega and Matheus Pereira were enough for the trio to face up against a side that each have played in recent seasons: Ighalo with Man United and Watford, Pereira with West Brom and Marega with Porto.
The Blues will not want to make the same Corinthians mistake they did in 2013 and show little respect to a side that aren’t known by many on the European continent.
Since that game, the west London side have now racked up two days of warm weather training as they look to win the competition for the first time, and football.london brings you the key things spotted from the second day of training.
Mason Mount back out there
The big doubt going into the semi-final opener at the Mohamed Bin Salman Stadium was the availability of Mason Mount after what happened to him in extra time.
After taking a shot on the Argyle goal, the 23-year-old wanted to be taken off and told the coaching staff that he felt a slight niggle as he walked down the tunnel – a development that left all associated with the club sweating.
Michels said after the game: “Hopefully not [serious], we will see. He felt an injury in extra time with this shot on goal. Only by this shot – it wasn’t a serious problem during the game – it was only when he had the shot he realised he had quick he felt pain and so we took him off.
“We will see. There will be further exams. Hopefully, it’s not too bad but right now I can’t promise what the situation is.”
Thankfully, despite missing the first day of light training, Mount was pictured doing rondos with his teammates as he faces a race against time to be fully fit for the midweek clash.
His emergence in the training pictures and videos released on social media excited many a Chelsea fans who adore one of their main attacking outlets and the Blues’ No.19 even sent a message to his supporters after training which has squashed rumours that he could be missing the tournament in its entirety.
The Brazilian’s withdrawal from his Flamengo loan was a decision that seemed bizarre to many Chelsea fans who had all-but forgotten about Kenedy’s existence.
However, one set of people who always had their eyes on the 25-year-old was Thomas Tuchel and the board, who had his name among their notes in case no Ben Chilwell replacement were to be signed in January – something that came to fruition in the end.
“If you play with a wing-back it is a perfect role for him. Given his profile and considering his profile as a player. He has a strong left foot and very strong in positional play. He can shoot and cross very precisely. And that’s more or less it. He is very talented,” Tuchel said ahead of Plymouth.
“There was never a doubt about this and now it is having the right mentality and mindset to take this huge opportunity whenever the next step is needed.
“He will fight for his place and the others will hopefully take on the fight to not let him take their place away. Then it depends which formation we play, but a wing-back role suits him very well.”
Despite these words from the German, Kenedy has yet to put on the Blues jersey for a second spell as he was afforded no minutes against Brighton, Spurs and most recently Plymouth.
Could the Club World Cup present him a rare opportunity to impress?
Well, in training on Monday, Kenedy was pictured in deep conversation with Tuchel’s coaching staff as he aims to take all their advice on board in the hope that they afford him a rare outing.
Thomas Tuchel’s absence not being missed
The question is now though- will he play any part in the Club World Cup venture?
Well. as it stands, as per the Mirror, the German is certain to miss the semi-final but is on course to make either the final or third placed play off if he tests negative in his fifth day of isolation.
Thankfully, amid complications of the rules being different in the UAE, Tuchel himself is vaccinated and therefore is on course to travel to Abu Dhabi later this week if all goes according to plan.
In his absence, his coaching staff have been put on the front line and Zsolt Low in particular has been pictured barking orders to the squad in training which shows how seriously he’s taking the extra responsibility put on his shoulders over the last few days.
“We see it as a team effort. Zsolt (Low), Anthony (Barry), and H is included (Hilario), Benni too. We all felt a little bit excited because we are used to having Thomas by our side. It is different but the team made it very easy for us and helped us also in our work, Michels explained the dynamic in his post-match presser.
“We felt very good and very supported. But it is definitely different from when Thomas is there. We are not the main responsibility for the game”