Thomas Tuchel insists ‘now is the time to take calculated risks’ as Mateo Kovacic hopes to play through the pain barrier in the FA Cup final while Chelsea will also try and get N’Golo Kante involved for Liverpool clash
- Chelsea have some injury doubts going into the FA Cup final against Liverpool
- Mateo Kovacic hobbled off against Leeds after a nasty tackle from Dan James
- N’Golo Kante has been out of action with an injury in the last three league games
- Thomas Tuchel is hopeful that both men will feature on Saturday afternoon
Mateo Kovacic will try to force himself into enough fitness to play the FA Cup final.
Thomas Tuchel hopes to have Mateo Kovacic and N’Golo Kante fit enough for the FA Cup final
Kovacic had his ankle wrapped up following Chelsea’s comfortable victory over Leeds
Leeds forward James was sent off for the studs-up challenge that left Kovacic with the recurrence of a previous ankle problem.
Tuchel admitted straight after the Elland Road clash that Kovacic would need almost a ‘miracle’ to be fit in time for the FA Cup final.
But now Kovacic will try to train on Friday afternoon in a bid to force his way into the reckoning for Saturday’s national stadium encounter.
‘We will try it today actually, which is pretty surprising news where we are in the situation where we can try it,’ said Tuchel.
‘Mateo wants to try it and the medical department gave the green light to try it.
Leeds winger Dan James was sent off for his reckless challenge on the Chelsea midfielder
‘The ligament is anyway stretched from the last incident, so there’s no new injury but heavy pain, and it’s heavily swollen.
‘We’re hoping that maybe time is enough that he makes it. But we will try it in training and then we will know about it some time after that.
‘In the game (at Leeds) he was very, very good and in general he has stepped up again.
‘The quality and personality, his dribbling, carrying the ball, driving with the ball is excellent, a top team player.
‘He knows what it takes to also sometimes put the ego aside and serve the team, he’s a fantastic guy and player.
‘We missed him too much this season, we missed him over many weeks. We missed Jorginho and N’Golo Kante too and that cost us a little bit.
Kante (right) meanwhile has not featured for Chelsea in their last three Premier League games
Ahead of Saturday’s cup final, Tuchel said that ‘now is the time to take calculated risks’
‘He’s so ambitious. And he’s been excellent in the games against Liverpool this season. So we’ll see.’
Chelsea will also try to push N’Golo Kante into sufficient fitness to feature against Liverpool, with France’s World Cup-winning midfielder having also struggled with injury niggles in recent weeks.
‘We will try for N’Golo,’ said Tuchel. It is the time now to take calculated risk, with it being the cup final.’
They face Liverpool who beat Chelsea in the final of the Carabao Cup back in February
The sanctions against owner Roman Abramovich have left Chelsea unable to buy any cup final tickets for academy players and parents, given the club’s strict temporary UK Government licence.
But Tuchel revealed that Chelsea’s staff and players put their hands into their own pockets to buy tickets so that many people connected to the club can attend the Wembley showdown.
‘Well, listen, that’s what we did,’ said Tuchel. It’s a big competition and it’s one club, and normally the club would buy these tickets, for parents and players of the academy. So we stepped in and bought the tickets for them.’