Mendy and Kante set for Champions League Final training decision today

Thomas Tuchel’s players were given Tuesday off before beginning intensive preparations for Saturday’s clash with Manchester City in Porto.

Mendy underwent scans on Monday after a rib injury forced him off at half-time in Chelsea’s defeat to Aston Villa in the final game of the Premier League.

The results suggested the goalkeeper had suffered an impact injury, rather than anything more serious, but the club’s medical staff will assess him further today to see if he is still feeling pain.

Tuchel wants Mendy to take part in full training – but is also prepared to wait as long as possible before making a final decision on when the Senegal international will be able to start against City.

Tuchel also plans to start Kante in the centre of midfield, so long as he has fully recovered from a hamstring strain that saw him sit out the game at Villa Park on Sunday.

The France international was also due to resume full training, with Tuchel admitting he would avoid asking for further updates from his medical team to avoid bad news.

“I’m thinking about changing my tactics now to stop asking about N’Golo and just put him on the pitch in Wednesday’s training,” the Chelsea manager said this week. “And don’t ask him any more if there are any problems, just put him in training, and put him on the pitch when the game starts on Saturday.

“Maybe I will not speak to the doctors and the physios anymore so I hear no more doubts, no complaints or nothing. But it looks good and I hope it stays like that.”


Kante went off as a precaution in Chelsea’s win against Leicester last week. But the issue was serious enough for Tuchel not to risk him against Villa five days later.

With Mateo Kovacic fit again, Chelsea do have cover if Kante suffers a setback this week but Tuchel’s comments make it clear he wants the World Cup winner to be available from the start.

Meanwhile, Olivier Giroud has explained his approach to the game even when left on the side lines.

The France striker has been largely overlooked by Tuchel, but said: “Even the best player in the world will tell you sometimes he has to deal with difficulties, and sometimes you should even be grateful to have it because it always helps you move forward and improve.

“Doing the right thing is being professional, giving your best at training, having the right mentality, never complaining and trying to always find a positive, even in the negative.”

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