Thomas Tuchel explained that Chelsea would be without Mateo Kovacic and Antonio Rudiger for the Premier League against Fulham tomorrow.

“No, unfortunately not,” admitted the Blues boss in his press conference, when asked whether Kovacic will feature on Saturday.

(Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)

“He is still a bit injured. He trained with us but he is still not fully confident. He felt something at the end of training so he’s not available.

Tuchel continued to confirm that Rudiger will also be absent for the Fulham clash.

He said: “All other players are available except for Antonio Rudiger. He got injured in the last minute of the Madrid game.

“These are the two out from injury, everyone else is available for tomorrow.”

Arsenal v Chelsea - FA Cup Final
(Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Kovacic was also going to be doubt for the league game, but Rudiger’s absence comes as a surprise.

Both have been crucial for Tuchel’s upheaval since he arrived in January and are two of his most important assets.

Chelsea look far more defensively assured with Rudiger at the back, whilst Kovacic brings a touch of class into central midfield.

Real Madrid v Chelsea - UEFA Champions League
(Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)

There are options to cover the pair, but Tuchel would desperately love to have them fit for the Real Madrid match next Wednesday.  

“Before today, we thought Kova has a big chance to join us for at the latest Madrid, maybe even for tomorrow,” said the Chelsea manager.

“We have a little set back, not a big one with him. I don’t want to be too negative. Let’s see how he feels tomorrow.

“For Toni (Rudiger), I am quite positive for Wednesday.”

 Keep up to date with all the latest Chelsea news and opinion by following The Chelsea Chronicle’s Twitter account here.

Have something to tell us about this article?