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Kovacic, Kante, Pulisic, Broja: Thomas Tuchel confirms Chelsea team news for Leeds United clash

Matthew Debono

| Last updated 

Kovacic, Kante, Pulisic, Broja: Thomas Tuchel confirms Chelsea team news for Leeds United clash

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Thomas Tuchel has confirmed the Chelsea team news to face Leeds United in the Premier League at Elland Road on Sunday afternoon. 

Chelsea will be keen to get back to winning ways after dropping two points against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday afternoon at Stamford Bridge, making it four points from a possible six from their opening two Premier League games of the 2022/23 season.

They head to Yorkshire with a fairly clean bill of health. Mateo Kovacic has been absent with a knee problem which Tuchel previously confirmed he would not rush the Croatian back.

“Has issues with his knee, always a little bit of a reaction," the Chelsea head coach said last week.

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel speaks with Mateo Kovacic. (Alamy)
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel speaks with Mateo Kovacic. (Alamy)

"We decided to take a step back and increase treatment time to reduce the stress that comes from training to have a normal reaction before we start again.”

Meanwhile, N'Golo Kante came off against Spurs with a hamstring problem and was assessed during the week.

Unfortunately for Chelsea, it's bad news on both fronts. Kovacic remains sidelines for Leeds, while Kante is to be absent for several weeks.


“Quite serious (N’Golo Kante injury)," said Tuchel on Friday.

"We’re talking about weeks. Not good news. We are disappointed and sad because N’Golo is super important and super fit. He will be out for weeks.

"Same with Armando (Broja). He will be out for days. Cannot come with us to Leeds.

"Mateo Kovacic as well, still out with knee problems.

"Christian Pulisic had problems but trained today. Let’s see.”

Tuchel is expecting a tough challenge from Leeds on Sunday, adding: “I expect a high intensity game, a high pressing team from Leeds and a very emotional stadium. We had a fantastic game last season at Elland Road and scored very early, very dominant and very focused and effective in front of goal. Of course there was an early red card that played into our hands. Still, was a very good performance. 

“This is what we expect. Repetitive intensity, high pressing and a team that loves the chaos, a team of Leeds that has a high acceptance for mistakes. They don’t get frustrated by mistakes, they accept mistakes as chances to do counter-pressing and so on. 

“We have to be well aware and also to manage our expectations, our level of acceptance for mistakes because mistakes against these high intensive teams like Liverpool, Leeds, Southampton, who have a certain style of pressing - you make mistakes. You cannot play without mistakes against these teams. 

“You accept it before the match and make the best out of it, find the spaces. There is not a lot of time for decision making and this is what we prepare for now in training and hope to be on our top level and to find the level we had last week to be able to prove the statistics wrong!

"I did not know about it (record at Elland Road). So thanks for telling me.”

Topics: NGolo Kante, Mateo Kovacic, Chelsea, Leeds United, Premier League, Thomas Tuchel, Football

Matthew Debono
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