Thomas Tuchel has unfortunately confirmed in his pre-match press conference that N’Golo Kante and Christian Pulisic will be unavailable for Chelsea against Aston Villa this weekend.
The Blues boss confirmed that Kante will be sidelined after being forced off with an injury against Liverpool, though a return against Zenit on Tuesday looks a ‘pretty good’ prospect, per Tuchel.
Pulisic suffered an injury whilst away with the USA for international duty in their tie against Honduras, Tuchel has shared that the ankle blow is expected to sideline the winger for around 10 days.
The Blues have enjoyed a solid start to the new Premier League campaign, beating Crystal Palace and Arsenal before drawing against the Reds.
Chelsea will still have returning striker Romelu Lukaku to call on against Villa as Tuchel has dismissed the worry of a thigh injury for the Belgian by adding that he had ‘no problems at all’ as he trained yesterday.
Tuchel kicked off the press conference with news on Kante and Pulisic:
“Unfortunately we have two players out, N’Golo Kante and Christian Pulisic. They both came back injured.”
“Well, N’Golo got injured in the Liverpool game and still suffers a little bit. We’re trying – to answer maybe the next question from you – with N’Golo for Tuesday. This looks pretty good.”
“For Christian unfortunately he came yesterday on crutches. He has an ankle injury [that will rule him out for] about 10 days.”
Tuchel did have a positive about on Romelu Lukaku though, amid talk of a thigh issue:
“No, not at all. Maybe he had some problems but he came back two days ago, yesterday he trained with us, today he trained full, no problems at all.”
Kante will be a massive absence for the Blues, especially as Chelsea will face off against the relentless engine of John McGinn in the Villa midfield.
But, being without Kante could open the door for Atletico Madrid loanee Saul to debut for the club.
After a goal on the opening day showed promise for Pulisic, the 22-year-old has endured a nightmare as of late, the recent injury comes after the attacker missed two games after testing positive for Covid-19.