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29 December 2021

Injuries pile up for Chelsea defenders ahead of crunch clash with title rivals Liverpool

29 December 2021

Chelsea are facing an injury crisis in defence ahead of Sunday’s match with Premier League title rivals Liverpool at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues were already without several key figures for Wednesday’s visit of Brighton – with Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Timo Werner and Kai Havertz again not part of the squad – and sustained further injuries during the match.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at the defenders who could miss the clash with Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool.

Ben Chilwell

The England international suffered a knee injury in last month’s win over Juventus which Chelsea initially hoped could be treated without surgery but on Tuesday it was confirmed Chilwell will need an operation to repair his damaged anterior cruciate ligament. It is likely to sideline the defender for the remainder of the season and leaves Thomas Tuchel with a big void to fill at left wing-back.

Thiago Silva

Thiago Silva is consoled by members of the Chelsea backroom staff after being forced to come off with an injury against Aston Villa (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Wire)

After muscle problems impacted his 2020-21 campaign, Silva had managed to stay fit until he was forced off during Boxing Day’s victory over Aston Villa. The Brazilian’s withdrawal was put down to a hamstring injury which is unlikely to clear up before Liverpool travel to the capital this weekend and even if it does, can his manager risk the veteran centre-back with so many other absentees?

Reece James

The Chelsea academy graduate has been an integral part of the success Tuchel’s side have enjoyed in the last 12 months but also sustained what appeared to be a hamstring issue against Brighton. James, who has found the net on five occasions this season, had to be replaced in the 27th minute and is surely a doubt for Sunday’s match at Stamford Bridge.

Andreas Christensen

Christensen was the first Blues defender to struggle on Wednesday and had been primed to come off early with a back problem but was able to initially carry on. Eventually the Danish defender could not continue and was taken off at half-time to provide another headache for his manager before Liverpool visit.

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