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Azpilicueta: ‘We feel stronger’ than UCL champions: Pulisic, Kante injury updates

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Chelsea continued their excellent start to the season, riding Romelu Lukaku's double to an easy victory over Aston Villa.

Christian Pulisic is yet to return to Chelsea training as the USMNT star and his club prepare for the start of the UEFA Champions League.

Pulisic suffered an ankle injury on national team duty against Honduras and Blues boss Thomas Tuchel was unable to use him in Saturday’s 3-0 win over Aston Villa.

N’Golo Kante was also injured and missed the Villa win. He’s back training but will not feature Tuesday against Zenit Saint Petersburg.

[ MORE: UEFA Champions League hub ]

“Christian did not train with us,” Tuchel said, via Football.London. “N’Golo had two sessions yesterday and today but CL game comes too early for him.”

Tuchel shook off a question about feeling like he needs to win the Champions League again to own the title because Frank Lampard got the Blues out of last season’s group stage, which, good for him because that is an incredibly silly question.

Tuchel’s Chelsea beat Atletico Madrid, Porto, and Real Madrid before a 1-0 win over Man City secured the European Cup in Portugal.

But repeating as European Cup winners is a huge challenge, done just twice since 1980 (AC Milan 1989, 1990; Real Madrid 2016, 2017, 2018).

Here’s Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta:

“Every year we try to improve,” Azpilicueta said. “That is natural. The players are here from last season, the club always tries to improve the team every year and of course, Romelu is a big addition. His ambition to help the team, of course we feel stronger. That gives us confidence coming back from a Champions League win.”

Follow @NicholasMendola