Thomas Tuchel claims Chelsea may well be without N’Golo Kante for Saturday’s FA Cup final against Liverpool.
His team beat Leeds United last night to all-but-secure their place in the Champions League next season. But whilst speaking to chelseafc.com after the game, Tuchel said Kante faces a race against time to face The Reds.
“Not sure, maybe I’ll know more tomorrow. The latest chance for him to be ready for Saturday is Friday, but as you can see it’s very, very close what we are doing here,” said the German.
“N’Golo was not in team training yesterday, we have to see now, I don’t know what the reaction was today, if he can maybe be in team training tomorrow.”
On top of that, Mateo Kovacic was injured during the game against Leeds and will definitely play no part in the final. As a result, Tuchel could now be without two of his best options in the middle of the pitch.
Midfield’s depleted for cup final
According to The Times yesterday, Liverpool do now have a fitness worry of their own ahead of Saturday’s final at Wembley.
Fabinho limped off inside the opening half-an-hour against Aston Villa on Tuesday night. He now looks set to miss Liverpool’s next three games with a hamstring strain. There appears to be hope that could still return for the Champions League final, but it’ll be touch-and-go.
From a selfish point of view, Chelsea’s midfield injuries make the blow of losing Fabinho easier to take. For Saturday anyway.
The Brazilian has been fantastic for Liverpool this season. There aren’t many defensive midfielders who can claim to be superior to him. In Kante though, Chelsea have one who possibly can.
It’s a shame to see the best players in their respective positions sit out of the biggest games of the season. Liverpool’s chances of winning are surely reduced ever so slightly by not having Fabinho available to them.
If Chelsea are forced to line up without both Kante and Kovacic though, they’ll feel that pinch even more than The Reds.
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