N’Golo Kante has been left out of Chelsea’s matchday squad for the visit of Norwich in the Premier League as a result of ‘muscle tightness’.
The France midfielder played 65 minutes in Wednesday’s 4-0 win at home to Malmo before being replaced by Atletico Madrid loanee Saul Niguez.
Simon Johnson of The Athletic has now reported that Kante missed out on a place in Saturday’s squad as a precaution. However, he stressed that the injury is not considered serious and that if they had been instead playing on Sunday instead, then Kante would most likely have featured.
The Frenchman has been replaced in the starting XI by Mateo Kovacic as Chelsea look to open up a four-point gap at the top of the Premier League table.
Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner are set for a spell on the sidelines after also picking up injuries against Malmo, with Kai Havertz filling in up top and Callum Hudson-Odoi getting a rare start.
These injuries have been seen by some as a chance for Hudson-Odoi to revive his Chelsea career. But Tuchel insisted that even a solid display on Saturday won’t change how he thinks of the winger.
“Is there a turning point? Ok, he needs to prove it,” the boss explained in the build up to the game. “He needs to play the next 250 games on the highest level and then that was the turning point. But is it a turning point if he does a brilliant match tomorrow? No.
“It’s only a turning point if he makes it a turning point – and only if he does not only do one good match, one good half, 60 good minutes, but if he does it consistently, It’s as easy as that with every player.”