Chelsea face Charlotte FC on Thursday (KO 12:30 am UK time). Thomas Tuchel says Raheem Sterling is available for the game but Kalidou Koulibaly is likely to sit this one out.
“Raheem is absolutely ready to go tomorrow. He will be on the pitch tomorrow and I am happy about that and he is excited to play his first match,” the boss said about Sterling, as quoted by the Evening Standard.
“Yes, we are a bit torn and I have to speak to him to be honest, about what we do tomorrow. We will decide later in the afternoon,” Tuchel said about Koulibaly’s availability.
“He has done some training sessions with us but he is still on a very individual program so no double sessions on the pitch. He trains with the team but of course as you can imagine some players are in their third week of preparation and at a completely different level of foundation physically.
“That is not a good match for him to straight away start and straight away play. I don’t want to rule it out completely but it is very likely that he will not play, [that] we will not see him on the pitch.
“And I’m happy because he is a calm guy and you can see his quality on the pitch, his leadership. He has a certain personality that you feel when he is there and he is good for us.”