Tuchel gives Christian Pulisic verdict ahead of Crystal Palace clash

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Christian Pulisic has had a long battle for fitness this season, and has often found himself outside of the first eleven under Thomas Tuchel.

Tuchel got a rare Premier League start in the 5-2 defeat against West Brom, and he scored the opening goal for Chelsea in that game.

The American was subbed off at half-time, and Tuchel revealed that it was for fitness issues. He was then introduced in the second half of the Champions League quarter-final clash against Porto, and showed his skills and amazing dribbling technique.

Speaking ahead of facing Crystal Palace on Saturday, Tuchel spoke about Pulisic’s fitness worries and revealed that he had a role to play in that game.

“Fitness is always important for Christian because he has this huge physical impact in the amount of sprints and intensity that he can give to the team on the highest level,” said the Chelsea boss.

“This is one of his biggest strengths, and the other thing is he needs to feel confident and calm mentally, and then he can be a huge weapon for us.

“He scored in the last game against West Brom but unfortunately the overall game and his need to go off the pitch at half-time clouded the goal and the impact he could have had with that goal.

“Then again he was very close to scoring and had a huge impact from the bench [against Porto] so we have to take care about him, that he hopefully will not be reinjured, because I feel him stronger and stronger, and more and more self-confident.

“He could be a decisive factor in the next game with his speed, his ability to dribble and his ability to arrive in the box in dangerous situations from balls from the sides and crosses. He normally has the feeling to arrive and to score so hopefully he can have that impact. It’s our job to push him there and to calm his mind that he feels the trust and he feels confident.”

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