Mateo Kovacic Chelsea
Mateo Kovacic Chelsea

Chelsea take on Real Madrid in the second leg of the Champions League semi-final this week and Antonio Rudiger along with Mateo Kovacic still remain doubts for this game.

Mateo Kovacic has been on the sidelines for a few weeks with an injury and now he’s suffered another setback while returning to full fitness. Defender Antonio Rudiger has been a key figure for Chelsea under their new boss and he had picked up a facial injury during the first leg in Madrid.

The manager has not particularly ruled out these players’ participation in the second leg but chances are they could be missing from the matchday squad.

‘For Toni, I think he will play with a mask,’ reported Tuchel, on Monday. ‘He trained on Saturday with a mask so it’s just about him getting used to it.

‘It will be a very tight race for Kovacic. He had a little setback and felt something in not the same area but the same muscle as before. It’s very likely that he will not make it unfortunately.

‘We have two training sessions now to prepare for Real Madrid so it will be exciting. I’m very happy with this group in the semi-final.


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‘We feel ready for a big fight and I’m pretty sure that we need a big performance because Real Madrid will give us a hard time.’

It’s only about getting comfortable with playing in a mask so Antonio Rudiger should be available to play and will slot straight back into central defence alongside Thiago Silva and Christensen.

As far as Mateo Kovacic is concerned, the manager will not be too worried about the return of the midfielder. Yes, having him in the side will definitely be an added bonus but either way, Thomas Tuchel is expected to go with the pairing of N’Golo Kante and Jorginho in the middle of the park on Wednesday.

If somehow Kovacic can make himself fully fit then at best he might find a place on the bench and so he could be brought on if needed.

Read: Everton queue up behind Chelsea & Spurs in this out of favour striker.