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Chelsea duo Mateo Kovacic and Andreas Christensen doubtful for FA Cup final

:Headline: Chelsea duo Mateo Kovacic and Andreas Christensen doubtful for FA Cup final:
The Chelsea pair are carrying injuries.
Sports Mole

Chelsea duo Mateo Kovacic and Andreas Christensen face a race against time to be fit for Saturday's FA Cup final.

Croatia midfielder Kovacic has been sidelined with hamstring trouble since the day before the Blues' Champions League quarter-final second leg with Porto on April 13.

Denmark defender Christensen picked up a tendon problem in Saturday's 2-1 Premier League win at Manchester City and will also be a doubt for the weekend's Wembley showdown with Leicester.

Kovacic and Christensen will both miss Wednesday's Premier League clash with Arsenal at Stamford Bridge.

Thomas Tuchel's side have two cup finals to prepare for (Adan Davy/PA)

Blues boss Thomas Tuchel suggested however that Kovacic could stand more chance of being fit in time to take on the Foxes at Wembley.

"Kova is not ready for tomorrow, we have to postpone it to Wembley," said Tuchel. "So his personal race is on to make it to the squad to Wembley.

"For Andreas, it's better than we feared, much better, the images yesterday, so we hope also for one of the two Leicester games for him to come back.

"It will be also a tough one, but the season is not finished for him hopefully. So we have realistic hopes that his latest comeback will be against Aston Villa."

Mateo Kovacic, left, and Andreas Christensen, right, are big injury doubts for Chelsea's FA Cup final against Leicester (Oli Scarff/PA)

Former Real Madrid player Kovacic missed both legs of Chelsea's Champions League semi-final victory over his old club.

The 27-year-old has excelled under Tuchel, in a deep-lying midfield role alongside either N'Golo Kante or Jorginho.

Tuchel conceded Kovacic's absence has dented Chelsea's ranks, with the German hoping the highly-regarded midfielder will win his fitness battle for Saturday.

"Billy Gilmour has had to step up now because we missed Kova so much, and we play normally always with the double-six," said Tuchel.

  • May 12 - Arsenal in Premier League
  • May 15 - Leicester in FA Cup final
  • May 18 - Leicester in Premier League
  • May 23 - Aston Villa in Premier League
  • May 29 - Manchester City in Champions League final

"So we were constantly rotating between N'Golo, Jorgi and Kova. Once we missed Kova now for so many games and so many weeks, it was on Billy to step up and I was very happy that he could deliver when it was needed. So full credit for that.

"But Kova is a big, big loss with his ability to drive with balls, with his speed on the ball, without the ball.

"Kova is such a positive character, such a unique player, and a genuine fighter on whom you can always rely in training and in games.

"He has big experience even though he's still young. So we really miss him and he's a good match with Jorgi and N'Golo in all combinations.

"So it's a big, big miss and I can't wait until he's back in full team training, and he's taking now some steps in the right direction. And I hope he can join team training after our game against Arsenal."

Christensen has hit a rich vein of form in the last few months under the stewardship of Tuchel, who is lamenting the centre-back's absence.

"Andreas was crucial in the matches where he played and now we miss him, and for some matches around the Porto game as well," said Tuchel.

“Kova is such a positive character, such a unique player, and a genuine fighter on whom you can always rely in training and in games”
- Thomas Tuchel on Mateo Kovacic

"Now he has a tendon problem, and so he was crucial in the back three, he gave us a lot of options because he can play all three positions and he's very calm.

"But don't misjudge him by being calm, he is a very tough one to play against, he uses his body very well, he's very strong in individual duels and is good on the ball.

"So I think that the role in the back three suits him very, very well and I've been very impressed by his performances.

"Now we were a bit relieved yesterday when the images were given and were not as we expected in the worst case.

"So we have realistic hopes the season is not finished for him as well, and this is very, very important."

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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City38275683325186
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd382111673442974
3Liverpool38209968422669
4Chelsea381910958362267
5Leicester CityLeicester382061268501866
6West Ham UnitedWest Ham381981162471565
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs381881268452362
8Arsenal381871355391661
9Leeds UnitedLeeds38185156254859
10Everton38178134748-159
11Aston Villa38167155546955
12Newcastle UnitedNewcastle38129174662-1645
13Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38129173652-1645
14Crystal Palace38128184166-2544
15Southampton38127194768-2143
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton38914154046-641
17Burnley38109193355-2239
RFulham38513202753-2628
RWest Bromwich AlbionWest Brom38511223576-4126
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd3872292063-4323
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League One Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1 462781180384289
2 462691183463787
3 4623111260372380
4 462017970422877
5 4622111369501977
6 462281677562174
7 4620141270561474
8 462191665511472
9 461912154646069
10 461910176360367
11 461813156368-567
12 461812165661-566
13 461811176462265
14 46197206367-464
15 461612184946360
16 461512196173-1257
17 461315185057-754
18 461411215380-2753
19 461215195470-1651
20 46139245477-2348
21 461114216178-1747
22 461112234167-2645
23 46134295589-3443
24 46108284070-3038
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