Sunday, November 27, 2022

Double boost for Tuchel as Chelsea announce Champions League final squad.

Double boost for Tuchel as Chelsea announce Champions League Final squad.

Double boost for Tuchel as Chelsea announce Champions League Final squad.

Edouard Mendy and N’Golo Kante have both earned Chelsea’s 25-man traveling team for Saturday’s Champions League final against Manchester City.

Chelsea battle the Premier League champions in Porto, looking forward to win the European competition for the second time in 10 years.

Thomas Tuchel has two major fitness doubts ahead of the masterpiece final, with Mendy and Kante both picking up injuries in the final two games of the domestic campaighn.

Frenchman Kante bemoaned in the final day loss to Aston Villa, after hobbling out of their win over Leicester City just days earlier.

Mendy meanwhile was taken off during the half-time break at Villa Park after crashing with a post attempting to save Bertrand Traore’s opening goal.

But speaking ahead of his squad journey to Portugal, Tuchel hinted that both Kante and his first-choice keeper would be available.

“N’Golo is looking good and I hope he stays like that for Saturday,” said Tuchel.

“Maybe I won’t start to the doctors and physios so I don’t hear doubts or complaints or nothing. Maybe I have to think about the tactics. It looks good and I hope it stays like this.

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“Edou made a huge improvement with the management of pain from when the injury happened, which is good.

“We hope to have him back. If he is fit, then Edou will play.”

Should Mendy not be declared fit, Kepa Arrizabalaga will come into the line-up, as he did during the FA Cup definitive loss to Leicester City at Wembley.

Chelsea face Man City having already hammered them on two incidents since Tuchel succeeded Frank Lampard in the Stamford Bridge dugout.

And the German understands those results have told his players that they have closed the gap on Pep Guardiola’s all-conquering unit.

“I don’t know if it’s an advantage but we are aware of it that we closed the gap to Man City in two games,” he explained.

“We did it in a short period of time, not so long ago. But in a final anything can happen in all directions.

“Luck is a huge part, the mental approach over who can handle the pressure, the little details like who can release the pressure and have the first positive moment in the match.

Tuchel continued: “You have to adapt constantly to what happens, this is very, very important.

“But I think it helped us a lot to bond, grow and arrive with self-confidence. Man City are the benchmark in Europe and this league.

“We are the guys who want to hunt them and close the gap. We want to challenge them and it’s what we will for a minimum of 90 minutes in Porto.

“The experience helps but it doesn’t give us an advantage. It helps us arrive with self-confidence and be aware what is needed to have the chance to beat them.”

Chelsea’s travelling squad for the Champions League final:

Kepa, Mendy, Caballero; Rudiger, Alonso, Christensen, Silva, Zouma, Chilwell, Azpilicueta, James, Emerson; Jorginho, Kante, Kovacic, Mount, Gilmour, Anjorin; Abraham, Pulisic, Werner, Giroud, Hudson-Odoi, Ziyech, Havertz.

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Double boost for Tuchel as Chelsea announce Champions League final squad.

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