The World Cup winner has returned to training after a hamstring problem but has not featured since January 3 due to both injury problems and suspension.
Tuchel, who oversaw a 0-0 draw with Wolves in his opening game, underlined Kante’s importance to the squad in his first press conference on Thursday.
“I think he’s the strongest in the double-six, in the centre, in the heart of the game,” Tuchel said . “It gives him a little bit more freedom.
“We can use his energy, the volume in his game and his ability to recuperate and recover balls everywhere on the pitch.”
Mason Mount, arguably Chelsea’s best performer this season, was a surprise absentee from Tuchel’s first XI and was afforded just seven minutes at the end.
However, his brief cameo showed more promise than most others on show, so Mount could have earned himself a start four days later.
Timo Werner was left on the bench, with Olivier Giroud, and then Tammy Abraham from the bench, favoured. It will be interesting to see if Werner is involved.
Another note is Callum Hudson-Odoi starting, and impressing, in a right wing-back. Expect him to start there again on Sunday.
Chelsea predicted XI (3-4-3): Mendy; Azpilicueta, Silva, Rudiger; Hudon-Odoi, Jorginho, Kovacic, Chilwell; Ziyech, Werner, Mount
Injury list: N’Golo Kante (thigh – doubt)