Here is what we saw at the Stadion Maksimir as Chelsea’s players went through their penultimate training session before their Champions League group stage opening against Dinamo Zagreb. The game is scheduled to take place on Wednesday.
Fofana Settling In
The gentleman from France has, without a doubt, been kept quite busy. The Frenchman began Saturday’s game against West Ham United after just two training sessions with his new teammates. The match ended in a 2-1 win for his club.
Yesterday, Fofana returned to Chelsea’s training base in Cobham for a recovery session. This afternoon, he was with the rest of the first-team group that flew out to Croatia, and this evening he exercised at the home of Dinamo. You are skeptical that he has had a lot of time to unpack all of his belongings.
Fofana, who is just 21 years old, has the young energy that comes with his age, as was evident when he cracked a joke with one of Thomas Tuchel’s backroom staff members when the players were warming up for their pre-training session earlier tonight.
Tomorrow night, he will be trying to make his debut in the Champions League, which is something that is quite likely to happen given the fact that Thiago Silva did not go with the team.
After playing every minute of every match up to this point, which has been quite stressful, Thiago and I came to the conclusion that it would be best for him to take a vacation from the traveling and the stress “Tuchel gave the explanation.
“It was time to get him off the bench and let him get some rest instead of placing him on the subs’ bench and risking travel complications. He is concerned with his own recuperation.
Kovacic Continues to Press On
Mateo Kovacic has not had an easy go of it throughout the first few weeks of the season.
The knee ailment that the midfielder dealt with during preseason kept him out of action for Chelsea’s first three Premier League games.
And he has yet to play for a full 90 minutes in a Premier League game. He will hold out hope that things will improve in Zagreb.
Kovacic kicked off his professional career with the Croatian club, and a large number of his relatives are anticipated to be in attendance for the match tomorrow night.
The 28-year-old player, who will be eager to make his debut, participated in tonight’s training session on the field at Stadion Maksimir and showed no signs of discomfort while doing so.
During his pre-match news conference, during which he presented a calm figure, Kovacic claimed, “I have recovered and am getting better day by day.”
During the press conference, Kovacic also cut a comfortable figure. I need to get my mental and physical sharpness back, but I have games and training to help me do that, so I’m looking forward to becoming better every day.
The fans of Chelsea Football Club have wished for an academy graduate to break into the first-team squad and match the on-field successes of John Terry for a number of years – possibly even a decade.
This wait was finally over in the summer of 2019 when Frank Lampard brought numerous younger players up to his first-team squad.
Some of those players have gone on since then, but Reece James and Mason Mount, in particular, have solidified their positions as first-team regulars for Chelsea.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek, on the other hand, has shown a great deal of adaptability in recent months, which has earned him a consistent spot in the matchday squad.
Additionally, Trevoh Chalobah has shown that he is an exceptional central defender when given the opportunity by Tuchel.
And this summer, the table of academy graduates expanded with the addition of Conor Gallagher and Armando Broja, who was welcomed into the fold after spending time on loan at Crystal Palace and Southampton, respectively.
Both players have seen action in the early matches of the season, with varying degrees of success, but they are expected to play significant roles in the weeks and months ahead as Chelsea competes on four fronts.
A big match in the Champions League is approaching, and the fact that six local players are now participating in training is cause for celebration.
In addition, there are others who are prepared and poised to make an impression if given the chance to do so by Tuchel in the future.
The Guy In the Mask
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang flew directly to Milan after completing his transfer from Barcelona on the transfer deadline day.
The mask is to protect an injury to his jaw that he sustained during an assault at his home in Catalonia by an armed gang at the beginning of the previous weekend. The assault took place on the day that the transfer deadline passed.
Aubameyang was able to finish the training session at Cobham yesterday thanks to the mask, which let him breathe easier.
Even while it wasn’t worn during the warm-up at the Stadion Maksimir this evening, the 33-year-old did put it on when the rest of the first-team players started working on ball skills.
If Aubameyang is able to play through his injury without experiencing any pain or unease, he will be in the running to start for Chelsea in the first game of the Champions League. “He went through a test with his mask [yesterday] and reported that he was feeling well.
He continued his usual training. If the day goes according to plan, you may get in touch with him “During his pre-game news conference, Tuchel made the following statement.
“He has a lot of drive and is highly focused on his goals. He is chomping at the bit to play for us and make his point.
Because of this, he is present; this has been our impression ever since we met him. Tomorrow, he is cordially asked to provide evidence in support of his claim.”
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