Thomas Tuchel has confirmed that he does not think that Mateo Kovacic will be available for Chelsea’s FA Cup final match against Liverpool after he was forced off with an ankle injury. The Blues midfielder has been a crucial cog in Tuchel’s team this season but he could not continue after a viscious tackle from Dan James, where the former Manchester United winger went in with his studs.
Thomas Tuchel said: “I tell you not as a coach, not as an expert but I think it’s very unlikely we see him [in the cup final]. Once Mateo goes out, he never goes out, he played in the semi-final of the FA Cup with the same injury and played another 15 minutes which is almost impossible He has a swollen ankle and is in a lot of pain. I’m not a doctor and we need to wait for the examinations but it’s very unlikely. It’s absolutely bad news on a perfect evening.”
The 48-year-old German confirmed Kovacic was set to start against Liverpool given his history in the ties and was impressed with how he started the game against Leeds with Jorginho.
Thomas Tuchel added: “If he misses it, I’m very disappointed because he was a clear starter. If you look at the quality with him and Jorgi in the centre of midfield when it was 11v11. It was a strong start and he is a key figure for us. He played against Liverpool both of the last matches from the beginning if I remember right and was very strong. He’s super, super hungry and determined to play these matches. We will see. Maybe we have a miracle and it will be possible”
The Blues boss could not bring himself to watch the challenge.
Thomas Tuchel said: “I did not see the challenge live, I was just focused on something else and saw it from a distance on the iPad. I’m not good at looking at these situations because it hurts me physically to watch it but everybody told me it is a clear red card.”
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