Thomas Tuchel says he will not risk playing N’Golo Kante in the second leg of Chelsea’s Champions League quarter-final against Porto unless the midfielder proves he is 100 per cent fit.
Kante sustained a hamstring injury during the recent international break with France and has only made two substitute appearances for Chelsea since, due to a lack of fitness.
Tuchel is keen to have Kante in his starting line-up as Chelsea aim to secure a spot in the semi-finals of the Champions League for the first time since 2014, but says he will not risk causing another setback for the midfielder despite the importance of the game.
“First of all, I was unbelievably happy when he came with us last week [for the first leg] because I didn’t expect it,” Tuchel said ahead of Tuesday’s second leg at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium in Seville.
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“He was confident enough to return earlier, to help us in the last 15 minutes.
“But the downside of this situation was that he lost a little bit of sleep after the travel issues, had less work in training because he was sitting on the bench and only playing 20 minutes.
“And the next day he suffered from travelling and could not train like he normally trains.
“We decided to play him from the bench against Palace but honestly, the decision I will make tomorrow morning when I see him in training then we will look at the others and how they feel.”
Chelsea are in a commanding…