Thomas Tuchel rules four players out of Juventus clash including N'Golo Kante

Thomas Tuchel will be without four key Chelsea players for tomorrow’s Champions League clash against Juventus and confirmed N’Golo Kante has contracted coronavirus.

The France international has been used sparingly so far this season following a groin injury from which he had only recently fully recovered.

Kante was restricted to two 45 minute bursts against Tottenham and Aston Villa earlier this month, while he was taken off on the hour mark during Saturday’s disappointing 1-0 defeat against Manchester City at Stamford Bridge.

The 30-year-old will now miss tomorrow’s heavyweight clash against the Italian giants, as well as Saturday’s Premier League match against Southampton.

Tuchel will also be without Christian Pulisic and Mason Mount, as well as Reece James, who also looks set to miss the trip to St Mary’s with an ankle injury.

‘Reece’s injury is still very painful,’ said Tuchel. ‘It will come down to pain management in the end. It comes down to how much we can expect. We are looking at a minimum of one more week.’

In light of Kante’s situation, meanwhile, Tuchel insisted he did not know what proportion of his squad is currently fully vaccinated, but distanced himself from the suggestion that footballers should be setting an example and encouraging to the general population to follow suit.

He said: ‘I don’t know, I simply don’t know (how many are vaccinated). We are a reflection of society, the players are adults and they have a free choice.

‘We should accept it. This is more or less all I can say. I know the situation is far from over. It makes you very aware it is not over.

‘Do I have the right to say it? I’m not so sure. It is a serious question, vaccinations seems to be a proper protection, I am vaccinated but I don’t see myself in the position to speak out on recommendations.’

More to follow…

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