Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante has tested positive
for COVID-19 and will miss Wednesday’s Champions League clash against Juventus,
manager Thomas Tuchel confirmed on Tuesday. The German boss also confirmed
Mason Mount, Reece James and Christian Pulisic will be unavailable for the trip
to Turin due to fitness issues.
Tuchel was speaking after the team’s final
training session before departing for the mouth-watering Champions League encounter.
“N’Golo unfortunately tested positive and he needs to quarantine and follow the
government protocols. He was not in training today,” Tuchel was quoted as
saying on Chelsea’s website.
James was forced off around the half-hour
mark, and was replaced by veteran Thiago Silva. Speaking on the injury, Tuchel
said, “It’s still very painful. It will come down to pain management in the end
and how much he can accept. Right now, we are looking at a minimum of one more
Tuchel also spoke about the challenge that
awaits the European champions in Italy. “They are so experienced and such a big
club with so much Champions League experience,” the former Dortmund and Paris
Saint-Germain manager said.
He also downplayed their rough start to the
season and injury issues, saying the club still “demands respect” and that it’ll
be a “tough challenge”.
Juventus are currently languishing at the
tenth spot in the Serie A table, having won just two of their opening six
fixtures. The record Scudetto champions will face Chelsea with a number of key
injuries, with both Paulo Dybala and Alvaro Morata forced off with injuries during
the Sunday win over Sampdoria.
Juventus are currently top of Group H, courtesy
a 3-0 win over Malmo on matchday one, while Chelsea started their title defence
with a 1-0 win over Zenith St Petersburg.