CHELSEA will face Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final without Mateo Kovacic and Andreas Christensen as Thomas Tuchel contemplates his forward conundrum.
The Blues have the chance to end City's quadruple hopes at Wembley on Saturday.
Both sides will be full of confidence after securing their place in the Champions League semi-finals in midweek.
A goal in each leg from Phil Foden helped the Citizens ease past Borussia Dortmund while Chelsea edged Porto 2-1 on aggregate.
German boss Tuchel has some key selection decision to make though the spine of his side.
The 47-year-old confirmed Croatian midfielder Kovacic – who he dedicated his side's aggregate win to – and Danish centre-back Christensen are still out injured.
Thiago Silva is only just back from injury and played the full 90 minutes against Porto.
The 36-year-old could be rotated out for Frenchman Kurt Zouma after his goalscoring exploits against Crystal Palace last weekend.
N'Golo Kante is another player who only recently climbed off the treatment table but with Chelsea playing on Tuesday rather than Wednesday, Tuchel thinks he will be ready ready for the weekend.
The Stamford Bridge chief also refused to rule out young Scot Billy Gilmour who has rarely been seen since Frank Lampard was sacked.
In his press conference, Tuchel was asked if Kante could play 90 minutes and if Gilmour would come into his thinking and replied: "Both yes.
"We have the green light for N'Golo because we've had three days between games that make a huge difference.
"Mateo is unfortunately still out. He is feeling better but can't be in the squad.
"And Andreas Christensen is out and can't be in the squad. That is the situation."
Tuchel successfully deployed Kai Havertz as a No9 against Porto and Palace but may be tempted to hand a recall to fellow German Timo Werner.
Christian Pulisic could be the man to make way after starting the last two games in quick succession, with the American struggling with his own fitness problems earlier in the season.
On his depth of options up front, Tuchel added: "I do what I think is best for the team and I adapt to the quality of my players.
"If I have guys who need to be on the pitch and double strikers, we will find the way to play with double strikers. If we have guys who absolutely need to be on the pitch as a No9, we play with a single No9. It depends and we adapt to the quality of the player
"We have what we have and I am super happy with what we have and we have strong strikers, we have strong half strikers and we do what is best for the team.
"And I am absolutely happy with what we have and we will push them and that is the situation."
Pulisic scored a double in the 4-1 win over Palace and may be given another start after Tuchel praised his impact in the last few games.
The manager said: "He made huge progress, he was fantastic in the last games and maybe I cannot explain it better – to be calm, to trust himself in terms of injury, in terms of his full fitness, capability and bit more calm and self-confidence and being aware that I trust him and these things.
"This is important for him to show his full potential. Once he is in that he is a huge player and he has now big performances because he has a huge impact physically and in terms of quality, dribbling runs, arriving in the box in crucial moments.
"He stepped up and this is what I know from him and I am very happy about this in the last weeks and games."
⚽ Read our Football live blog for the very latest news from around the grounds
Source: Read Full Article