Chelsea team news: Major double blow ahead of Man Utd game
Chelsea will be looking to cement their place at the top of the Premier League table when they take on Manchester United at Stafford Bridge on Sunday afternoon.
Ahead of the game, Blues boss Thomas Tuchel has been speaking to the media at his pre-match press conference this afternoon and he’s provided a team news and injury update including the latest on Ben Chilwell, N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic.
Chilwell picked up a knee problem during Chelsea’s Champions League victory over Juventus in midweek and had to be replaced by Cesar Azpilicueta with 20 minutes remaining. Tuchel has confirmed the full-back has suffered a partial ACL injury and is facing at least six weeks on the sidelines so obviously he won’t be involved against Manchester United on Sunday.
Kante was also forced off against Juventus on Tuesday night after twisting his knee. Tuchel has suggested the French international is highly unlikely to be fit to start against United after saying it will be a ‘miracle’ if Kante makes it.
His absence will leave Chelsea short of options in midfield as Mateo Kovacic will miss the visit of Manchester United as he continues to recover from a thigh injury that’s hampered him in recent weeks.
Tuchel told Chelseafc.com:
‘Ben is out. He has a partial injury of his ACL [anterior cruciate ligament] and the decision is to treat it conservatively.
‘The next six weeks will tell the story if he makes it and will be fully available, or if he needs surgery after that.’
‘Kova is still out for the game on Sunday. N’Golo twisted his knee a little bit [against Juventus]. He feels quite better since the game but it seems like he will be out for some days or one week maybe. We have a little hope but it would be almost a miracle if he makes it [to play Man United].’
It’s a huge blow for Chelsea to lose Chilwell as he’s been back to his best form in recent weeks but his injury is an opportunity for Marcos Alonso to force his way back into Tuchel’s first team plans.
Kai Havertz missed Chelsea’s 4-0 victory over Juventus on Tuesday night after picking up a thigh injury during the win at Leicester City last weekend. Tuchel didn’t provide any update on the German attacker’s condition today so it remains to be seen whether Havertz will return against Man Utd.
Chelsea head into the weekend action sitting three points clear at the top of the table so they’ll be looking to at least maintain that advantage with victory over Manchester United in West London.
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