Chelsea manager, Thomas Tuchel, has confirmed that his side will be without a key player, Mateo Kovacic, when they face Real Madrid in Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final first-leg tie in Spain.
Tuchel said this following Chelsea’s 1-0 victory against West Ham United in the Premier League over the weekend.
Recall that Kovacic limped out of Chelsea’s final training session before their Champions League quarter-final second leg tie against FC Porto earlier this month.
The Croatian international has also missed Chelsea’s past four matches with a muscle injury as a result.
“At the moment, we are suffering a bit with our two number sixes because of the injury for Mateo,” Tuchel said at his post-match press conference after Chelsea defeated West Ham.
“Hopefully, he can come back against Fulham [on May 1], but he did not train with the team yet, so I think that Tuesday [Real Madrid’s match against Chelsea] will be too early, unfortunately. He was so happy to play against his former teammates, and he is a crucial player for us.
“He could have helped a lot in the last games against Brighton and West Ham with his technique and his ball runs, but it’s like this. The team is doing an amazing job, and we have to keep on going.”
The kick-off time for Real Madrid vs Chelsea is 8 pm.