‘Big loss’ – Tuchel reveals reason for James’ absence against West Ham

Chelsea FC: Stamford Bridge

Chelsea make three changes from the side which lost to Arsenal, with Reece James, Romelu Lukaku and Malang Sarr making way for the recalled Kai Havertz, Jorginho and Thiago Silva.

James has been left out as a precaution because of a slight hamstring concern, which boss Thomas Tuchel insisted is unrelated to the player’s previous injuries.

“Reece felt some discomfort in his hamstrings and he misses out today,” Tuchel told Sky Sports ahead of the game.

“It isn’t a new injury or a recurrence of an old injury. We checked the medical images and there is absolutely nothing, but he didn’t feel totally comfortable.

“He felt like something could happen if he took that risk, and we absolutely do not want have a re-injury, so we have taken the safe route and left him out.

“Not having Reece is a big loss because of his individual quality and what he brings to the team. It’s a shame not to have him with us today.”

Meanwhile, West Ham boss David Moyes has named star trio Declan Rice, Jarrod Bowen and Michail Antonio on the bench, seemingly with the club’s upcoming Europa League semi-final in mind.

Chelsea: Mendy, Azpilicueta, Silva, Christensen, Loftus-Cheek, Kante, Jorginho, Alonso, Mount, Werner, Havertz.
Subs: Kepa, Lukaku, Pulisic, Chalobah, Saul, Barkley, Ziyech, Kenedy, Sarr.

West Ham: Fabianski, Coufal, Dawson, Cresswell, Johnson, Soucek, Noble, Masuaku, Fornals, Benrahma, Yarmolenko.
Subs: Areola, Antonio, Lanzini, Vlasic, Bowen, Fredericks, Kral, Rice, Alese.