Chelsea name teenage trio Xavier Simons, Jude Soonsup-Bell and Harvey Vale in their starting line-up for Carabao Cup quarter-final at Brentford after coronavirus continues to hit Thomas Tuchel’s first-team squad
- Chelsea picked three teenagers for their Carabao Cup quarter-final at Brentford
- Jude Soonsup-Bell, 17, and Harvey Vale, 18, will lead the line on Wednesday
- Midfielder Xavier Simons, 18, will also start for Thomas Tuchel’s side at Brentford
- The Bees, meanwhile, named a relatively strong side for the last eight clash
- Tuchel’s Chelsea reported seven positive Covid cases in their squad last week
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel was forced to play teenage trio Xavier Simons, Jude Soonsup-Bell and Harvey Vale for their first senior starts in Wednesday’s Carabao Cup clash against Brentford.
The Blues have been struggling with a coronavirus crisis in recent weeks with Tuchel announcing seven positive cases in their team ahead of last week’s 0-0 draw at Wolves.
And despite being able to field a full first-team squad for their quarter-final clash against west London neighbours Brentford, Tuchel chose Soonsup-Bell and Vale, aged 17 and 18 respectively, to start up front amid a striker crisis.
Chelsea started striker Jude Soonsup-Bell, 17, (right) and Harvey Vale, 18, left up front in their Carabao Cup quarter-final at Brentford
Teenage midfielder Xavier Simons will also play for Chelsea’s Covid-hit squad on Wednesday
Tuchel’s Chelsea have Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner, Kai Havertz and Callum Hudson-Odoi missing after they all tested positive for Covid last week.
Tuchel decided to rest attackers Mason Mount and Christian Pulisic – who are on the bench at Brentford on Wednesday night – meaning 18-year-old striker Vale gets the nod.
The 18-year-old attacking midfielder has five goals in 11 Premier League 2 matches for Chelsea this season, while 17-year-old Soonsup-Bell has just one in ten appearances in the same competition.
Simons, meanwhile, is understood to be defensive midfielder and has played 15 times for Chelsea’s youth squads this season.
Chelsea arrive for their Carabao Cup last eight clash at Brentford with a whole host of strikers out with coronavirus
The 18-year-old used to be on the books at Wednesday’s opponents Brentford and moved to Stamford Bridge five years ago.
Other than the three teenagers, Chelsea named a relatively strong squad for the last eight clash at the Brentford Community Stadium.
Trevoh Chalobah managed to shake off a knock he picked up at Wolves last week to line up in the Blues defence, with Cesar Azpiliceuta captaining the side in west London.
Ross Barkley is the most senior member in attack, while there are also starts for Malang Sarr, Marcos Alonso and Saul Niguez.
Marcos Alonso (above) is one of the senior figures turning out for Chelsea on Wednesday
Reece James, Jorginho, N’Golo Kante and Antonio Rudiger were named alongside Mount and Pulisic on the Chelsea bench.
Meanwhile, Brentford named a strong line-up filled with first-team players after they came through a coronavirus crisis of their own last week.
The Bees recorded 13 positive cases last week – which saw last Saturday’s Premier League clash against Southampton postponed – but Thomas Frank revealed there are no more cases at Brentford anymore.
Ethan Pinnock was one of the players to contract the virus last week and he came into the starting line-up on Wednesday, but striker Ivan Toney – who was also infected – had to settle for a place on the bench.
Goalkeeper Alvaro Fernandez, who is deputising for regular first-choice shot stopper David Raya who is out until March, has also recovered in time for the Carabao Cup quarter-final.
Brentford: Fernandez; Bech Sorensen, Jansson, Pinnock; Canos, Baptiste, Janelt, Jensen, Henry; Wissa, Mbuemo
Chelsea: Kepa; Simons, Chalobah, Sarr; Azpiliceuta, Saul, Kovacic, Alonso; Barkley, Soonsup-Bell, Vale
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