Joe Cole believed that N’Golo Kante would be crucial if Chelsea are to overcome Leicester City in the FA Cup final.
Speaking to football.london, in association with Budweiser, Cole was looking ahead to Saturday’s showdown at Wembley.
Chelsea could win the competition for the ninth time in their history, whilst Leicester have never lifted the fabled trophy.
Thomas Tuchel is one victory away from securing silverware after just four months in charge.
Brendan Rodger has been building the Foxes for two years. This fixture is set to be the pinnacle of his project.
Kante is key, says Cole
It should be an intriguing battle between two excellently coached clubs. However, Cole felt Chelsea will have the edge if Kante turns up.
“It’s going to be a real tactical battle, it will be interesting to see what Leicester do,” admitted the former Blues forward.
“It’s very important that N’Golo Kante gets round James Maddison and stops him playing because he picks the ball up in the pocket and he’s got two passes on all the time with (Kelechi) Iheanacho and (Jamie) Vardy.”
N’Golo and who else?
Kante is likely to face his former side, having been rested for the mid-week Premier League loss to Arsenal.
The 30-year-old will know all about Leicester from his title winning days of 2015/16.
Now firmly part of Chelsea’s core, his involvement might be crucial if Tuchel is to taste a triumph tomorrow.
If fully fit, Kante has to start. The question remains who should partner him in central midfield.
Jorginho and Billy Gilmour have played next to or in place of the Frenchman in recent matches but were thrown together for the Arsenal defeat.
Mateo Kovacic’s wellbeing is still under scrutiny, although Nizaar Kinsella did report the ex-Real Madrid man had returned to training today.
Permitted Kovacic can play, it seems likely he will be the one to link up with Kante.