Chelsea FC have received a timely boost with the news that striker Romelu Lukaku and Callum Hudson Odoi returned negative Covid tests in the week.

The duo has been out after testing positive for the virus, sitting out the Carabao Cup quarter-final win over Brentford on Wednesday night and the Premier League draws with Everton and Wolverhampton Wanderers last Thursday and Sunday.

Should they test negative again on Thursday, they will be free to return to training with the rest of the Chelsea squad ahead of their weekend clash against Aston Villa.

“If I understand correctly it will be a negative test, first of all, I believe we had a negative test for Romelu and Callum. It is good news, don’t get me wrong but I am not overexcited now because I know I need to check how they are,” Tuchel said on Wednesday night.

It has been a frustrating time for Lukaku since his big summer move from Inter Milan after being sidelined with an ankle injury and then hit with the virus. The former Everton man has not started a Premier League game since October and has been limited to just three league goals in his 11 appearances since the start of the season.

Hudson-Odoi on the other hand has made nine Premier League appearances this campaign, as recently as 11 December in the 3-2 win over Leeds United, and will be hoping to make a swift return on Boxing Day at Villa Park.

The team however might still lack the services of Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Ben Chilwell or Hakim Ziyech in the weekend tie but should have Andreas Christensen and N’Golo Kante back for the Villa game.


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