Injury Boost: N’Golo Kante back in Chelsea training ahead of FA Cup final
According to Football London, Chelsea have been handed a timely boost for the FA Cup final against Liverpool with midfielder N’Golo Kante returning to training ahead of the momentous clash. The Blues will be relieved by the availability of the Frenchman, having been extremely stretched in the midfield department in recent weeks.
Although Jorginho returned against Leeds United midweek in Chelsea’s 3-0 win against the Whites, the Blues lost Mateo Kovacic to injury. The Croatian faces a race against time to get fit in time for the clash against the Reds and the return of Kante could not have come at a better time.
Jorginho himself has just come back from an injury and it remains to be seen if he has enough legs in him to start two games back-to-back. When asked about the availability of Kovacic for the game against Jurgen Klopp’s men, Tuchel was rather sceptical.
“I tell you, not as a coach, not as an expert, but I think it’s very unlikely we see him [in the cup final]. Once Mateo goes out, he never goes out. He played in the semi-final of the FA Cup with the same injury and played another 15 minutes, which is almost impossible.
This leaves Thomas Tuchel in a bit of bother for the game against Liverpool as he is very limited with options in his midfield. Although Kante has resumed training with the Blues, it remains to be seen if he is fit enough to start at Wembley. If the Frenchman fails to do so, Tuchel will have to look at other options.
What options does the German have?
Even if Kante recovers in time to be in contention to start against the Reds, starting two players coming off injuries might not be a wise decision. Thus, Tuchel might be forced to choose between starting Jorginho and Kante.
In such a situation, Ruben Loftus-Cheek might find himself starting yet another game. Tuchel also has the option of using Atletico Madrid loanee Saul Niguez although the Spaniard has failed to show anything impressive enough to warrant a spot in the team.
Chelsea find themselves understaffed in midfield for one of the most important clashes this season. They already lost the Carabao Cup final to the same opponents and are out of the running for the Champions League title and the Premier League crown this season.
The FA Cup is a trophy that would salvage a forgettable season for Chelsea with the Club World Cup being the only other trophy that the Blues have won this season. Tuchel will have to be spot on with his selection, especially in midfield if he was to overcome Jurgen Klopp’s high-flying team.
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Both Jorginho and Kante have had better seasons at Chelsea than the current one but despite this, there is no denying their importance to the Blues. If possible, the German coach will prefer to start both players for the important clash but if not, he will have to come up with suitable alternatives.
It’s not a position that Chelsea wished to find themselves in but trust Tuchel to come up with a solution for the same.
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