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Thomas Tuchel bench 2 key players in Chelsea lineup against Zenit



Lukaku sends clear message to Thomas Tuchel amid role play

Thomas Tuchel’s side will face Zenit in today’s Champions League in Russia as Kovacic, Kante, Jorginho, and Mendy missed out of Chelsea  lineup.

Chelsea lineup against Zenit.

Kovacic joins N’Golo Kante and Jorginho on the list of midfielders who are not available for tonight’s Champions League tie in Russia. Kante is still to recover from a twisted knee and Jorginho is out with a back problem.

But the setback for Kovacic is a particular blow after Chelsea believed their casualty list was finally beginning to ease.

Kovacic has been a pivotal figure since Tuchel took over in January and provided vital cover for Kante. Saul Niguez was signed in the summer to give the European champions more depth in midfield, but the Spain international has struggled to get to grips with English football – starting just two Premier League games and being substituted at half-time in both.

Kovacic suffered his injury in training in October and Chelsea’s medics had been cautious in their approach to his recuperation to ensure there was minimal risk of a repeat injury.

Trevoh Chalobah is out with a hamstring strain picked up against Watford last week, while Ben Chilwell is still recovering from his knee ligament damage.

Chelsea predicted XI: Kepa; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger; James, Loftus-Cheek, Saul, Alonso; Hudson-Odoi, Pulisic, Havertz.


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