Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has been given a double injury blow ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash with Aston Villa. The German has confirmed he will be without N’Golo Kante and Christian Pulisic for the match, writes the Express.
Kante came off with an ankle injury at half-time during Chelsea’s clash with Liverpool at the end of August as his side battled to a 1-1 draw at Anfield.
He initially joined up with the France squad ahead of their three World Cup qualifiers at the start of this month but was forced to pull out before their first game against Bosnia.
The 30-year-old originally sustained the injury while warming-up for Chelsea’s UEFA Super Cup final victory against Villarreal last month.
Kante sat out the Blues’ opening game of the season as his side defeated Crystal Palace 3-0, before appearing from the bench during Chelsea’s 2-0 victory over Arsenal the following weekend.
The midfielder was then deemed fit enough to start against Liverpool but saw his afternoon come to a premature end.
Pulisic, meanwhile, was forced off during USA’s World Cup qualifier against Honduras on Wednesday night after a clash with opposition captain Maynor Figueroa.
The winger has also sustained an ankle injury and returned to his club on Thursday using crutches.
“Christian has a slight ankle injury,” said USA boss Gregg Berhalter following his side’s midweek match.
“We’re going to get more info on it when he goes back to London, the severity of it.”
Pulisic was named in the Chelsea starting line-up for their season-opener against Palace and duly rewarded Tuchel by bagging a goal on a sunny day in west London.
But that remains his only Premier League appearance of the season after he was ruled out of Chelsea’s next two clashes when he tested positive for COVID-19.
It’s certainly been a frustrating start to the season for the player, who has suffered his fair share of injury problems since moving to Stamford Bridge from Borussia Dortmund two years ago.
Tuchel has been given one piece of positive news ahead of his side’s return to Premier League action, however, as he revealed that summer signing Romelu Lukaku will be fit to face Villa.
The superstar striker revealed he would undergo a scan on his thigh following Belgium’s 3-0 victory over Czech Republic on Sunday.
Lukaku was in fine form during the international break, grabbing a brace in his side’s 5-2 victory against Estonia last Thursday, before notching another against Czech Republic.
He missed his country’s 1-0 victory over Belarus on Wednesday night but will be in the Chelsea squad for this weekend’s clash.