Chelsea will be without N’Golo Kante for their Champions League clash with Juventus after the Frenchman tested positive for Covid.
The midfielder is one of four key men Thomas Tuchel will have to do without as his side travel to Turin
Christian Pulisic, Mason Mount and Reece James will also miss the trip through injury.
The latter is likely to miss the clash with Southampton this weekend as will Kante, whilst he quarantines and recovers from the virus.
The absences mean the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Kai Havertz will be pushing for starts having both begun on the bench at the weekend.
With James missing Cesar Azpilicueta will likely shift out to the right of defence
What’s been said
Tuchel admitted that James in particular had been struggling with his injury.
“Christian, Reece, Mason are out due to injury, Reece’s injury is still very painful,” said the German.
“It will come down to pain management in the end. It comes down to how much we can expect. We are looking at a minimum of one more week.”
In light of Kante’s situation the Blues boss was also quizzed on whether vaccinations should be mandatory for players, but was keen to stay neutral.
He added: “I don’t know, I simply don’t know (how many are vaccinated). We are a reflection of society, the players are adults and they have a free choice
How have Chelsea started their campaign?
The Blues begun the defence of their European crown with a 1-0 win over Zenit at Stamford Bridge courtesy of a Romelu Lukaku goal.
Tuchel guided Chelsea to the summit of Europe back in the summer as he delivered the club’s second Champions League title.
They saw off Manchester City in Porto and with an improved squad there is now an expectation on them mounting a meaningful defence of their crown.
Juventus on the road will be the biggest challenge of their group stage campaign.
After a trip to Italy they face successive games against Malmo before hosting the Old Lady and concluding with a game in Russia
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