Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has confirmed that N’Golo Kante won’t play any part in today’s Premier League early kick-off against West Bromwich Albion at Stamford Bridge.
The France international picked up a hamstring injury during a World Cup qualifier against Ukraine last month, and he was subsequently sent home for further treatment.
In yesterday’s press conference, Tuchel confirmed that Kante won’t be part of the squad as he has yet to return to team training following the muscular problem.
He added that there is a possibility that Kante could be sidelined for the next game against Porto as well as he does not want to rush him back to action.
He told Chelseafc.com: “He [N’Golo Kante] wasn’t with the squad and he did some individual work. With N’Golo, we will have to be patient.”
“Will he miss the Porto game? Yes, probably. He is doing individual training and tomorrow’s game comes too soon for him and so he can’t be with the squad.”
Meanwhile, Timo Werner has had a tough time lately, and he missed a clear-cut chance against North Macedonia as Germany suffered a shock 2-1 defeat on home soil.
When asked about the 25-year-old, Tuchel said that he has been working hard on his finishing, and he has no concerns over the player’s ability.
He added that his compatriot needs to keep working hard, and the goals will eventually come. The Blues boss went on to confirm that Werner will start against the Baggies.
He added: “Yesterday I sent him in from training because he wanted to do extra finishing with us. But I sent him in because it will happen, the goals will come.”
“Of course, he needs to do something and the best thing to do is to work hard. Work hard against the ball, make runs, don’t hesitate, be fearless, don’t overthink it.”
“That’s easy for me to say but it’s the challenge right now for him. Timo will start tomorrow and there we go.”
The Blues have been in fine form under Tuchel, who replaced Frank Lampard as the head coach during the backend of January.
The club are presently on a 15-match unbeaten run in all competitions, and 14 of those have come since Tuchel took over at the helm.
They have picked up six victories and four draws in the last 10 league games which sees them with a two-point lead over fifth-placed West Ham United.
Kante’s absence may not be felt against the Baggies, but they can’t be complacent and need to get maximum points to boost their top-four push.
Meanwhile, Werner has the opportunity to redeem himself after a poor international outing for Germany, which led to a mixed reaction from the Blues fans.
He has managed to create several scoring chances, but his finishing has regularly let him down. His confidence is not high at the moment and he needs to start scoring.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com