Kante, Mendy, Kovacic – Chelsea team news and injury latest ahead of FA Cup final vs Leicester

Chelsea suffered a setback in their race to finish in the top four on Wednesday night after suffering defeat to Arsenal.

Just days ahead of the FA Cup final, the Blues lost at home after Jorginho’s horrendous backpass led to the Emile Smith Rowe winner, though Chelsea did have chances of their own, hitting the bar twice, while they were also denied two potential penalties.

But while the defeat is a big setback for Chelsea in the race for top four, Liverpool now able to move within a point of Thomas Tuchel’s men should they win their games in hand, attention must swiftly turn to the FA Cup final.

Chelsea face Leicester City on Saturday in the Wembley final, and ahead of the game, we have rounded up all the latest injury news.

Mateo Kovacic

Chelsea have now been without Mateo Kovacic for nine games through a muscular injury.

The midfielder had been excellent under Thomas Tuchel up until his injury, and the Blues will be glad to get him back after the Arsenal defeat should he return for the final.

“He [Kovacic] isn’t ready for tomorrow,” Tuchel said of Kovacic’s injury ahead of the Arsenal game.

“We have to postpone his personal race, it’s on to try to make it into the squad for Wembley.”

Andreas Christensen

Andreas Christensen is another doubt after picking up an injury against Manchester City.

Christensen sat out the Arsenal clash, and there is also doubt whether he will be fit for the FA Cup final this weekend.

Andreas Christensen of Arsenal

“It [Christensen’s injury] was better than we feared, the images yesterday were much better. We hope he’ll be back for one of the two Leicester games,” Tuchel said before the Gunners game.

“It will be a tough one but the season isn’t finished for him hopefully. We have realistic hopes the latest he can come back is Aston Villa.”

N’Golo Kante

Kante was a noticeable absentee from the defeat against Arsenal with Jorginho and Billy Gilmour starting in the midfield.

But there is no concern over injury with Kante being rested against the Gunners ahead of the FA Cup final.

Kante will likely return to the starting XI on Saturday at Wembley.

Edouard Mendy

Mendy was rested for the Arsenal clash, but with Kepa Arrizabalaga playing the FA Cup games this season, Tuchel was attempting to give Kepa minutes to get comfortable ahead of starting the final.

Tuchel said ahead of the Arsenal clash: “He (Kepa) starts the cup final and we thought it was a good idea to give him the game before.

“We trust him and he deserves it, that is the basis why we put him in the line up.

“He deserves it. He is so close and good in training. We wanted to give him some minutes and to take both games together. It was an unlucky night for him as well.”

Mendy is not likely to return to the starting lineup until the next Premier League outing, also against Leicester City.


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