N’Golo Kante tests positive for Covid-19 and will MISS Chelsea’s Champions League tie with Juventus

N’Golo Kante tests positive for Covid and will MISS games against Juventus and Southampton… as boss Thomas Tuchel admits he doesn’t know how many of his squad have received the vaccine

  • Chelsea play Juventus at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday in Champions League
  • N’Golo Kante will miss the game after testing positive for coronavirus 
  • He featured in the defeat to Man City at the weekend before being substituted
  • Kante will also miss Chelsea’s next league game with Southampton on Saturday 

N’Golo Kante has tested positive for coronavirus and will miss Chelsea’s Champions League showdown with Juventus on Wednesday, as Blues boss Thomas Tuchel admits he does not know how many of his squad are vaccinated.

The diminutive midfielder has been a mainstay in the side when fit and remains an important player under Thomas Tuchel but the manager will have to do without him in their European clash for Turin.

German head coach Tuchel confirmed that Kante has gone into self-isolation after his positive diagnosis, which means he will also miss Chelsea’s next Premier League game against Southampton on Saturday afternoon. 

N’Golo Kante will miss Chelsea’s next two matches after testing positive for coronavirus

Kante had been returning to form and scored this deflected effort against Tottenham

Kante had been returning to form and scored this deflected effort against Tottenham 

After confirming Kante’s diagnosis, Tuchel took questions on whether footballers should get vaccinated and set an example for others. 

Tuchel responded: ‘It would be easy to say yes and get the applause from a lot of people but do I have the right to say it? I’m not so sure. I can make the decision for myself. Everyone else has to reflect on it and take the risk. 

‘I am vaccinated like I said, I took the decision for myself but I don’t see myself in the position to speak out and give recommendations. I think that would go too far, I’m a football coach and I’m not an expert in this. 

‘Everyone is an adult and lives in a free country and free society. We don’t like to lose players but we are not angry at N’Golo (for testing positive), we are concerned and worried for him just like I am with injured players. We will take care of them.’ 

Thomas Tuchel confirmed Kante's positive diagnosis ahead of Chelsea's trip to Juventus

Thomas Tuchel confirmed Kante’s positive diagnosis ahead of Chelsea’s trip to Juventus 

As revealed by Sportsmail on Monday, deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam sent a message to Premier League footballers demanding them to get the jab by trying to eradicate any doubts in their minds about anti-vax myths. 

But on the same day, sports minister Nigel Huddleston claimed that Premier League stars are being scared off the Covid-19 jabs by the anti-vaxxer propaganda, after it was revealed that two top-flight clubs – Leeds and Wolves – have a fully-vaccinated squad. 

When asked whether he believes sports stars are being discouraged from talking about the vaccine due to the abuse they may receive, Tuchel said: ‘I’m absolutely not afraid of having a bad reaction if I’m convinced about something, but I’m a football coach. 

‘I have a lot to do, I’m a father in my family. I am not fully informed to know about what the vaccinations are deeply. I’m informed enough that I took the decision but I cannot tell people (what to do). They are recommendations from doctors and politicians.’

Tuchel (left) revealed the club are 'concerned and worried' for Kante (left) but will support him

Tuchel (left) revealed the club are ‘concerned and worried’ for Kante (left) but will support him

When asked how much of his squad are vaccinated, the German responded: ‘I don’t know the percentage, we are also only a reflection of society. The players are adults and have free choice on whether they want to get vaccinated or not, and we should accept it. 

‘I know the situation is far from over. When somebody in the group gets it it makes you very aware that it’s not over.’

Tuchel will shuffle the pack in Kante’s absence with Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Saul Niguez all options at his disposal.   

The German is also without Reece James, who limped out of Chelsea’s 1-0 loss to Manchester City on Saturday, while Mason Mount has not yet recovered from the injury that kept him out of the defeat to the Premier League champions. 

Christian Pulisic has a long-term problem and will not fly to Turin for the Champions League group stage clash.  

Tuchel will have to shuffle the pack after Kante's diagnosis but has plenty of options in midfield

Tuchel will have to shuffle the pack after Kante’s diagnosis but has plenty of options in midfield

Juventus, meanwhile, are without Paulo Dybala and Alvaro Morata, who have both been ruled out through injury. 

A club statement read: ‘Diagnostic tests were carried out at J Medical. The results showed for Alvaro Morata a low-grade muscle injury of the hamstring in the right thigh.

‘For Paulo Dybala, an elongation of the semitendinosus muscle in the left thigh. Both will be available after the international break.’

Both Chelsea and Juve won their opening Group H encounters, with the Champions League holders defeating Zenit St Petersburg 1-0 courtesy of Romelu Lukaku, while Dybala and Morata scored on the cusp of half-time as the Italian giants defeated Malmo 3-0 in Sweden. 

Kante started Chelsea's 1-0 loss to Man City but was substituted later on in west London

Kante started Chelsea’s 1-0 loss to Man City but was substituted later on in west London

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