Tuchel Gives Encouraging Fitness Update On Kante and Kovacic Ahead Of FA Cup Final
Kante, who was rested for the Arsenal game as a precautionary measure is expected to be back to the starting XI against Leicester City on Saturday, and Tuchel hopes he can play 90 minutes.
Kovacic, on the other hand, is expected to be back in the squad after a month-long absence. If both Kante and Kovacic are fit, the Blues’ midfield will certainly be boosted!
“We took the decision between me, N’Golo [Kante], and the medical team to leave him out and give him this Arsenal match to rest and have treatment for the right Achilles,” Thomas Tuchel said at a press conference ahead of the FA Cup final.
“It was pain management it’s not a huge injury, it’s nothing you need to be afraid of getting bigger, it was just there and a bit annoying. He did all the training sessions yesterday, today, full. No complaints. He will start tomorrow and very likely finish the game for us.”
The German gaffer has also confirmed that Mateo Kovacic will also be back in the squad, although it’s not clear if he will start the Leicester game as well.
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“It’s huge because Mateo has everything we need in the midfield,” Tuchel added. “Experience, power, he can beat players, he has physical ability and has played big games in the Premier League.
“When we missed N’Golo and Mateo, we lacked a lot of quality, energy, and experience. Billy [Gilmour] did a huge job in huge games but it’s not fair to compare him to these players because they have more experience and are a step ahead in their development.
“It’s big news that [Kovacic] is back because he’s a big guy in the dressing room around important matches.”
Mateo Kovacic has been sidelined for over a month now with a hamstring injury that turned out to be much more serious than it was expected.
Kante, moreover, missed just one game against Arsenal, and his absence might have contributed to the Blues’ unexpected loss to the Gunners.