ith the internationa break over, attention returns to club football – and it could be a dramatic run-in for Chelsea with Thomas Tuchel chasing a Premier League top-four finish as well as Champions League glory.
James Robson assesses the key challenges facing Tuchel’s Blues…
Getting Werner firing again
There have been positive signs from him under Tuchel – but he has not been the same since his country’s 6-0 defeat to Spain in November.
Before that game he was on a run of 11 goals in 12. He returns to Chelsea from international duty having scored just twice in 31 appearances for club and country.
Mason Mount urged Gareth Southgate to carry on playing him and England’s manager did just that – starting him in all three games during this international break.
That takes his total to 49 appearances for club and country this season as Chelsea head towards a hectic end to the campaign.
Mount insists he is young enough and fit enough to keep on going – but he has endured an enormous workload over the past 12 months.
If it takes its toll on him at the business end of the season, just how will Chelsea cope without a player who is so pivotal to their success?
Tuchel has answered every question put in front of him so far. He has beaten Jose Mourinho, Jurgen Klopp, Carlo Ancelotti and Diego Simeone (twice) during his unbeaten start at Chelsea.
But the tests are only going to get stiffer between now and the end of the season as he targets the Champions League, FA Cup and a top four finish.
Pep Guardiola and Manchester City loom large in their Cup semi-final at Wembley.
And assuming Chelsea see off Porto, they face the prospect of Real Madrid or Liverpool in the last four of the Champions League.
It is certainly not going to get any easier for Tuchel if he is to see out his first season with silverware.