The pair looked poised to miss a second final of the season against Liverpool in midweek, but could yet play a part in a crunch clash for silverware
Thomas Tuchel has admitted that he could play both N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic in Chelsea’s FA Cup final clash with Liverpool, with the German stating that it is time to “take risks”.
The influential duo have been serious doubts to feature at Wembley, with the former struggling with persistent injury concerns and the latter forced off after a heavy challenge from Leeds United’s Dan James in midweek in the Premier League.
But speaking ahead of a second final clash of the season with Jurgen Klopp’s Reds, Tuchel has acknowledged that he could throw caution to the wind and field both if they come through final training sessions unscathed.
“He is trying,” the manager told his pre-match press briefing. “He tried [on Thursday] in team training, hopefully [he won’t get a bad] reaction.
“It was a reduced training session because of long travel and fatigue of the travelling, so it was not a high-intensity session.
“But he is keen to make it and hopefully he makes it to training 100 per cent so that we can plan with him [on Saturday]. That would be crucial for us. It’s the moment to take risks.”
The Blues looked to have been handed another blow when Croatia international Kovacic was forced off following a red card tackle during Wednesday’s encounter with Leeds, but the German admitted that he could yet play a part. “We will try it today (Friday), which is pretty surprising news,” Tuchel added on Friday, just over a day out from kick-off in London. “Mateo wants to try it and the medical department gave the green light to try it.
“The advantage is that the ligament is torn anyway from the last incident, so there is no new injury, but heavy pain. It was heavily swollen. We are hoping that maybe the time is enough that he makes it, but we will try it in training and then we will know more about it.”