N’Golo Kante was subbed out with an injury in the first half of Chelsea’s huge Premier League win against Leicester City, and missed their final day game at Aston Villa, and the race is on for him to make the Champions League final.
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The Blues face an anxious wait to see if their star central midfielder will be fit for the UEFA Champions League final against Manchester City in Porto, but the signs are promising for that
However, this could be a huge blow at a pivotal stage of the season for Chelsea, as their midfield will be weaker without Kante.
He has been nursing a hamstring injury in recent months and he was replaced by Mateo Kovacic, who has just returned from injury, in the first half.
Tuchel gave an update on Kante as he spoke to reporters before the Champions League final.
“The team news is the best news ever, we have a full squad,” Tuchel said. “We have no injuries and I hope it stays like that until after we finish today’s training session.”
How big would this be for Chelsea?
Kante, 30, has been sensational for Chelsea in the 2020-21 campaign, and was man of the match in their Champions League semifinal win against Real Madrid.
It looked as though Kante suffered a reoccurrence of the hamstring injury, and both Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta and his manager Thomas Tuchel consoled him as he trudged off the pitch.
If Kante is out, or not fully-fit, for the Champions League final against Manchester City, it is a huge problem for the Blues.
Kante is one of the only players who could lock down Kevin de Bruyne, and City will be given a huge boost if the French superstar isn’t fully fit.
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The problem is that Chelsea have had to push Kante, and others, to the limit in recent days as they lost to Arsenal which lost them ground in their top four battle, but ultimately they just made the top four.
In an ideal world, Tuchel will have rested plenty of key players ahead of the Champions League final but he will not have that luxury.
Chelsea fans will be praying that his star central midfielder is fit to play in the final and have a full week of fitness ahead of the game.
If he isn’t Jorginho and Kovacic will likely start, while Billy Gilmour is the next man up.