Ngolo Kante who has been struggling with regular game time this season due to fitness issues has contracted the deadly Covid-19 according to Chelsea’s coach Thomas Tuchel.
Due to the infection, the 30-year-old French defensive midfielder missed the trip to Turin and would also not play against Southampton in the Premier League on October 2, 2021.
Recall that since this season commenced, Ngolo Kante who is seen as one of the best players at Chelsea has been battling with a groin injury. To give him room to recover faster, Kante played just 45 minutes each in Chelsea’s Premier League games against Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa.
The longest period he has played this season was on September 22, 2021, when he played against Manchester City for one hour. The Premier League game ended 1-0 in favor of Manchester City.
The fact that Ngolo Kante contracted Covid-19 forced the press to ask Thomas Tuchel about the number of Chelsea players that have been vaccinated against the virus.
In his reaction, the German tactician noted that his players are adults and could not be forced to accept the vaccines even though they suppose to be role models to football fans.
The coach said: “I don’t know, I simply don’t know (how many are vaccinated at Chelsea). We are a reflection of society, the players are adults and they have a free choice.
“We should accept it. This is more or less all I can say. I know the situation is far from over. It makes you very aware it is not over.
“Do I have the right to say it? I’m not so sure. It is a serious question, vaccinations seem to be proper protection, I am vaccinated but I don’t see myself in the position to speak out on recommendations.”
As for Christian Pulisic, Mason Mount, and Reece James, they are out of the Champions League group stage game against Juventus due to an ankle injury.
During the pre-match press conference for the UEFA Champions League game, Tuchel revealed that James’ injury was still “very painful”.
“Christian, Reece, Mason are out due to injury, Reece’s injury is still very painful,” said Tuchel. “It will come down to pain management in the end. It comes down to how much we can expect. We are looking at a minimum of one more week.”
On the other hand, Juventus would welcome Chelsea to the Juventus Stadium later tonight, September 29, 2021, at 20:00 without two of their key players.
Juventus’ Paulo Dybala and Alvaro Morata sustained different degrees of injury during the club’s league game against Sampdoria on Sunday, September 26, 2021.
After the league game which ended 3-2 in favor of Juventus, the club’s coach Massimiliano Allegri confirmed that the two football stars would not be available for the Champions League game.
“This is part of the season”, Allegri said. “Now it happens to us then, later on, it will happen to someone else. It’s part of the game. You have to be good at playing these games even with absent players.”
Since Chelsea and Juventus are going into the Champions League group stage game without some of their key players, the game is expected to be a very open one.
Chelsea and Juventus are joint leaders of the Champions League Group H with 3 points in a game each which means that any of the two teams that win tonight will top the group with 6 points.