May 9, 2021

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Thomas Tuchel provides update on injury to two Chelsea stars, reveals intention to deal with Sergio Ramos



Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel provided an update on the injuries of Antonio Rudiger and Mateo Kovacic ahead of the Champions League semi-final second leg against Real Madrid.

The Blues drew 1-1 at Alfredo di Stefano Stadium last week, and they have the crucial away advantage ahead of the second leg at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.

Ahead of the game, Tuchel confirmed Rudiger would likely return to action after missing out on the 2-0 Premier League win over Fulham with a facial injury sustained in the closing minutes at Madrid.

The German head coach has revealed that his compatriot could be part of the starting lineup against Los Blancos but will have to play with a face mask, which he gets used to in training.

He told Chelseafc.com: “For Toni I think he will play with a mask. He trained on Saturday with a mask on, so it’s just for him to get used to.

Meanwhile, Tuchel doubted Kovacic would be available for reunion with Madrid after missing the previous seven matches in all competitions with a hamstring injury.

He added: “It will be a very close race for Kovacic. He had a little setback and felt something not in the same area but in the same muscle as before. It is very likely that it will not succeed, unfortunately.

Los Blancos suffered an untimely injury with Raphael Varane left out of the European clash, but captain Sergio Ramos has recovered from a hamstring injury and is expected to feature.

When asked how to handle Ramos, Tuchel suggested he might resist the prospect of playing with a top striker to keep the Spain international out of the game.

“If we play without a striker at all and Ramos has nothing to fight, that can also be a solution,” he said. “I have not decide yet.”

Tuchel chopped up and changed his attack options. He could take a similar approach midweek, with Mason Mount and Christian Pulisic likely to return to the starting XI.

Havertz excelled at the front of the line in the West London derby with a goal in either half, and the German could play the fake number nine role against Los Blancos.

A goalless draw on Wednesday would be enough to lead them to their first final of the European elite competition since 2012.

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