Chelsea handed major injury boost as 23-man squad confirmed for Champions League clash vs Porto
Thomas Tuchel addressed the latest Chelsea fitness and injury news ahead of their Champions League quarter-final clash with Porto
Thomas Tuchel has confirmed N’Golo Kante, Christian Pulisic and Tammy Abraham are all in the 23-man squad for Chelsea’s Champions League clash against Porto on Wednesday.
There had been fitness doubts – especially on Pulisic and Kante – over the trio going into the quarter-final first leg, but the Chelsea boss confirmed all three would make up part of the squad.
Abraham had been missing with an ankle injury before being passed fit to play against West Bromwich Albion at the weekend – however, his absence raised yet more injury questions. Tuchel confirmed after he was not injured, and the decision was purely due to how many he could select in a matchday squad.
Last week, Tuchel set a realistic timescale of the second leg against Porto as Kante’s return date from his hamstring problem – incidentally, the same issue Pulisic went off with at half-time against the Baggies.
But Chelsea were handed a major boost at their pre-match press conference.
“They are fit enough to be in the squad and will be in the squad,” Tuchel said on Abraham, Kante and Pulisic.
“Christian went out just before an injury could happen, he said it at half-time that if he continued there would be an injury coming so we took him off.
“Tammy is in the squad and N’Golo did a test and will be on the bench. He is comfortable to be on the bench.”
Tuchel also confirmed that striker Olivier Giroud is “in the running” for a starting berth after shining in this season’s competition.
The France international has six goals in five games in the competition so far this season, including four in a stunning 4-0 win away to Sevilla – the same ground in which Chelsea will take on Porto due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“He is in the running and in the squad,” Tuchel said on Giroud.
“He is exited to return to Sevilla, he has history there, scoring many goals in this campaign. So he is in the running.”
There is no spot in the 23 for Billy Gilmour, despite training with the first team on Tuesday morning.
Chelsea’s 23-man Champions League squad:
Kepa Arrizabalaga, Toni Rudiger, Marcos Alonso, Andreas Christensen, Jorginho, Thiago Silva, N’Golo Kante, Tammy Abraham, Christian Pulisic, Timo Werner, Willy Caballero, Kurt Zouma, Edouard Mendy, Mateo Kovacic, Olivier Giroud, Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Ben Chilwell, Hakim Ziyech, Reece James, Cesar Azpilicueta, Kai Havertz, Emerson Palmieri.
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