Chelsea without four key stars for Juventus clash as N'Golo Kante tests positive for Covid

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N'Golo Kante, Thomas Tuchel and Trevoh Chalobah of Chelsea during a training session at Chelsea Training Ground on September 16, 2021 in Cobham, England.

Chelsea will be without N'Golo Kante for their Champions League clash with Juventus after the Frenchman tested positive for Covid.

The midfielder is one of four key men Thomas Tuchel will have to do without as his side travel to Turin.

Christian Pulisic, Mason Mount and Reece James will also miss the trip through injury.

The latter is likely to miss the clash with Southampton this weekend as will Kante, whilst he quarantines and recovers from the virus.

The absences mean the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Kai Havertz will be pushing for starts having both begun on the bench at the weekend.

With James missing Cesar Azpilicueta will likely shift out to the right of defence.

Tuchel admitted that James in particular had been struggling with his injury.

"Christian, Reece, Mason are out due to injury, Reece’s injury is still very painful," said the German.

"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."

In light of Kante's situation the Blues boss was also quizzed on whether vaccinations should be mandatory for players, but was keen to stay neutral.

He added: "I don’t know, I simply don’t know (how many are vaccinated). We are a reflection of society, the players are adults and they have a free choice."

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The Blues begun the defence of their European crown with a 1-0 win over Zenit at Stamford Bridge courtesy of a Romelu Lukaku goal.

Tuchel guided Chelsea to the summit of Europe back in the summer as he delivered the club's second Champions League title.

They saw off Manchester City in Porto and with an improved squad there is now an expectation on them mounting a meaningful defence of their crown.

Juventus on the road will be the biggest challenge of their group stage campaign.

After a trip to Italy they face successive games against Malmo before hosting the Old Lady and concluding with a game in Russia.

The Bianconeri won 3-2 for the second time in four days on Sunday as they beat Sampdoria.

Massimiliano Allegri is picking up the pieces from a disappointing season last term with the Italians acclimatising to life after Cristiano Ronaldo.

Their season begun poorly but they appear to be getting back on track.

They beat Malmo 3-0 in their Champions League opener, however for Wednesday's game Paulo Dybala and Alvaro Morata will both be missing.

Morata endured a forgettable spell at Stamford Bridge and is enjoying a second spell in Turin.

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