roster confirmed, team news and latest injuries for Champions League match – .

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roster confirmed, team news and latest injuries for Champions League match – .


Kovacic had just returned to full training after missing eight games with a hamstring injury.

Thomas Tuchel had hoped the Croatia international would be available for Saturday’s clash with Leeds – but he will now face a period of isolation before he can make his long-awaited return.

Kovacic joins N’Golo Kante and Jorginho on the list of midfielders who are unavailable for tonight’s Champions League game in Russia. Kante has yet to recover from a knee twist and Jorginho came out with a back problem.
But Kovacic’s setback comes a blow after Chelsea believed their casualty list was finally starting to shrink.
Tuchel said: “He was training yesterday with a big smile, but then he tested positive for corona today, so he is now isolated.
“I was aware that it could happen and I’m not happy with it, not only as a manager, but as a person. But this is the reality of the moment, so we must be ready to adapt and ensure the health of people. “
Chelsea’s midfielder options have been hit hard in recent weeks. This saw them drop seven points and relinquish their lead at the top of the table after Saturday’s shock loss to West Ham.
Kovacic has been a central figure since Tuchel took over in January and provided vital cover for Kante. Saul Niguez was signed this summer to give the European champions more depth in midfield, but the Spain international has struggled to get to grips with English football – and starts at the back tonight.
Kovacic was injured in training in October and Chelsea medics were careful in their approach to his recovery to ensure there was minimal risk of repeat injury.
But his prolonged absence saw Tuchel’s side struggle – drawing two draws and losing one of their last five league games to drop back down to third place in the table.
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Tuchel refused to accept that there were any major concerns about Chelsea’s form ahead of facing Zenit, and added: “We lost a few points against Man United, we found the solution to win a game at Watford.
“We lost with an abnormal shot at the end of a game at West Ham. So we’ve had this before, we’ve had this before we lost games. We don’t like it, but we’re not worried. We know what to do to win games.
Trevoh Chalobah is absent with hamstring strain contracted against Watford last week, while Ben Chilwell is still recovering from his knee ligament damage.
The best news for Chelsea is the return of Kai Havertz, who took part in training on Tuesday despite a twisted ankle in the loss to West Ham on Saturday and is fit for the bench.
Chelsea XI : Képa ; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Sarr; James, Mount, Barkley, Saul ; Hudson-Odoi, Werner, Lukaku.
Subscribers: Bettinelli, Mendy, Alonso, Rudiger, Silva, Loftus-Cheek, Havertz, Pulisic, Ziyech.

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