Thomas Tuchel has confirmed that both Mateo Kovacic and Andreas Christensen will miss Chelsea’s Premier League clash with Arsenal tonight. The Blues welcome the Gunners to Stamford Bridge as they look to move another step closer towards Champions League qualification.
It has not been an easy ride for Chelsea this season but Tuchel has finally brought some stability at Stamford Bridge following the sacking of Frank Lampard.
Furthermore, this could still turn out to be one of Chelsea’s most successful ever seasons with the club set to have two shots at glory in the FA Cup and Champions League finals.
But before they can start thinking about Wembley, Chelsea have a London derby to navigate.
Tuchel has confirmed that both Kovacic and Christensen will miss the contest and could also be sidelined for this weekend’s final.
“Kova isn’t ready for tomorrow. The personal race is on to try to make it to Wembley,” Tuchel said.
“Andreas’ was better than we feared. We hope he’ll be back for one of the two Leicester games. It will be a tough one but the season isn’t finished for him hopefully.
“We were a bit relieved yesterday when the images were given and they what weren’t we expected. We have realistic hopes the season isn’t finished and that’s very important.”
Tuchel revealed his backroom team are looking at the numbers before they decide which players will take to the field before each game.
It’s been a long season and with Chelsea still fighting on three fronts there is extra impetus on Tuchel’s shoulders to get the balance right.
“We have an eye on the players workload and the statistics we have, who is overloaded and from that we will decide who has a risk of injury,” he added.
“Everyone who isn’t a risk will be available for the game. It’s not to manage the game on Saturday as we are in the middle of a race. It’s not the time to judge games.”
“Billy Gilmour has had to step up because we play with a double six.
“We were rotating between N’Golo, Jorgi and Kova but once we missed Kova for some weeks it was time for Billy to step up and I was pleased he could when needed.”
Leicester moved back ahead of Chelsea last night with a 2-1 win over Manchester United at Old Trafford.
But Chelsea can regain third spot with a win over Arsenal, who have nothing other than pride left to play for this season.
The Blues will be keen to wrap up a top-four as soon as possible so they can focus on the Champions League final towards the final matches of the season.