Soccer-Chelsea's Tuchel says Pulisic doubtful for Villa clash


FILE PHOTO: Sep 5, 2021; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; United States midfielder Christian Pulisic (10) handles the ball in the first half against Canada during a CONCACAF FIFA World Cup Qualifier soccer match at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - Chelsea's American forward Christian Pulisic is still recovering from an ankle injury sustained on international duty this month and Wednesday's League Cup game against Aston Villa will likely come too soon for him, manager Thomas Tuchel said.

The 23-year-old picked up the problem in the United States' 4-1 win over Honduras and missed Chelsea's 1-0 Champions League win over Zenit St Petersburg and Sunday's 3-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League.

"I think for Christian the game against Villa is maybe a bit too close. I hope I'm wrong but this is my impression," Tuchel, whose side did not have a shot on target in the opening half against Tottenham, told reporters on Sunday.

"He's not in training so far but let's see tomorrow. Maybe if he had a good progression today ... it's possible. It would be super nice for us to have him but for me it's a bit doubtful."

Chelsea improved in the second half against Tottenham after the introduction of French midfielder N'Golo Kante to seal all three points.

The early pace-setters have 13 points from five games, the same as Liverpool and Manchester United.

They face Villa in the third round of the League Cup on Wednesday before a league meeting with champions Manchester City on Saturday.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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