Chelsea supporters were desperate for N’Golo Kante to feature from the off against Porto later despite him only just coming back from injury.
Thomas Tuchel confirmed in his latest press conference that Kante would be fit enough for the bench this evening, having suffered a hamstring problem on the international break.
The 29-year-old sat out Chelsea’s 5-2 defeat to West Bromwich Albion last weekend, but will be in contention for the Champions League tie tonight.
Blues fans needed no invitation to insist that Tuchel start Kante rather than bring him on as a substitute.
Kante was sorely missed during that shock loss at Stamford Bridge to the Baggies on Saturday.
Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho couldn’t offer the same kind of defensive service in midfield that their French teammate provides.
A repeat of that Premier League humbling and Chelsea can almost certainly wave goodbye to their European dream.
Porto have proved a tricky opponent to overcome.
Just ask Juventus, the side that was knocked out in the previous round by Portugal’s reigning league champions.
Tuchel will be boosted by the return of not only Kante but Tammy Abraham and Christian Pulisic as well.
Both were cleared to take part versus Porto, having overcome their own set of physical problems.
The Chelsea Chronicle View
There is a large portion of me screaming for Kante not to start to tonight, just out of caution.
But there’s a tiny voice inside my head whispering that it would be a beneficial for him to be in the XI.
Imagine the uproar if Chelsea did go a goal or two behind with Kante not on the pitch.
I guess this is why Tuchel is paid the big bucks to make the big calls.