Chelsea

Cesar Azpilicueta misses Southampton clash after positive Covid-19 test

Jude Summerfield
Azpilicueta is a doubt to face Real Madrid
Azpilicueta is a doubt to face Real Madrid / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages
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Cesar Azpilicueta misses Chelsea's trip to Southampton on Saturday after returning a positive Covid-19 test result, also making him a doubt to face Real Madrid in the second leg of the Champions League quarter-final next week.

Blues captain Azpilicueta is one of the side's most reliable performers but was a notable omission from their matchday squad to face the Saints, with no specialist right-back in the starting XI.

Romelu Lukaku is also not present on the south coast, with manager Thomas Tuchel confirming the club's record signing is injured.

Speaking before the match, Tuchel said: "Azpilicueta unfortunately has a positive Covid test."

Chelsea have lost consecutive matches to Brentford and Real Madrid, conceding seven goals in the process, and Tuchel added that his side need to stay focused to bounce back from those disappointments.

He said: "It doesn’t feel good and we want it to stop. We need to work hard for it, refocus and find our level of performance to deserve the results we want.

"It came as a shock as we had no signs of weakness before the national break, we were conceding very few chances, and now things are upside down.

"It’s a bit strange, there isn’t one reason for it, and we are on it to try and make things better. We want to get our compactness back today."

Chelsea are looking to secure third place in the Premier League after dropping out of the title race, while they need to overturn a two-goal deficit in the Champions League when they face Real Madrid at the Bernabeu next week.

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