Chelsea

N'Golo Kante to miss Juventus clash after positive Covid-19 test

Tom Gott
N'Golo Kante is back on the sidelines
N'Golo Kante is back on the sidelines / James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images
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Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante has been ruled out of Wednesday's Champions League meeting with Juventus after testing positive for Covid-19.

The Frenchman is yet to manage more than 65 minutes in any game this season but had been hoping to rebuild some momentum after shaking off a groin injury which kept him out of the Blues' first European game, a 1-0 win over Zenit.

He had been expected to feature in Wednesday's game against Juventus, but Thomas Tuchel has confirmed in his latest press conference that Kante will not feature after returning a positive Covid-19 test.

The 30-year-old will also sit out Chelsea's return to Premier League action on Saturday against Southampton at the very least.

Kante's absence is an enormous blow for Tuchel but not one which the manager has not prepared for. On top of the three games he has missed this season, Kante missed another three because of separate issues towards the end of last season and was not even available for Tuchel's first game because of a hamstring injury.

Jorginho is fit and available to face Juventus, and he could be joined by any combination of Mateo Kovacic, Saul Niguez or the reborn Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

Of the trio, it's Saul who is best-suited to fit the Kante void, but the Atletico Madrid loanee is yet to really get going since his deadline day switch to Stamford Bridge - and has just two outings against Aston Villa to his name so far.

Chelsea will be also be without Reece James, Christian Pulisic and Mason Mount, who also missed the defeat to Manchester City on Saturday. There had been hope that the England international may be able to play a part, but that will not be the case.

Juventus have injury concerns of their own, namely up front. Alvaro Morata and Paulo Dybala are both out of action for Massimiliano Allegri's side, leaving Everton loanee Moise Kean as the only senior striker available.


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