Chelsea have been handed an injury blow by Mateo Kovacic ahead of their Champions League quarter-final second leg tie against FC Porto.
Thomas Tuchel’s side are looking to finish off the job on Tuesday following a 2-0 first leg win last Wednesday at the Estadio Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán but will be without midfielder Kovacic for the second leg in Seville.
As per Angelo Mangiante, Kovacic is out of the European clash through injury.
It will see N’Golo Kante start on Tuesday night. Tuchel was expected to make a late decision on Kante over his involvement against Porto, but it appears he will now start for the Blues.
“First of all, I was unbelievably happy when he said he would travel with us to Seville last week,” said Tuchel to the media on Monday.
“The plan was for him to return against Palace, so he came back earlier than expected, and I was so happy he could feature against Porto in the first leg. He helped us in the final 10 or 15 minutes with his quality and defensive work.
“The downside to that is that he lost a little bit of sleep, rest and workload for training the next day, because of the travel we had to do and not getting back to London until the early hours of the morning.
“He couldn’t train the next day like he usually does, so we decided again to bring him on from the bench against Crystal Palace. This is the decision we made and we will manage him in the best way we can.”
He added: “It’s difficult to imagine playing a game like this without N’Golo, so I think it is important we do look at him tomorrow before making a decision. We absolutely have to be careful with him.
“I will take a look at him after training tonight and see how he is in the morning before deciding whether he should start or whether he can be used from the bench again.
“The question for tomorrow is whether we want N’Golo to start or do we absolutely want him to finish the game.”
A positive note for the Blues is that Andreas Christensen returns to the side after missing the win against Crystal Palace at the weekend also due to injury.