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Thomas Tuchel gives fitness updates on Romelu Lukaku and N’Golo Kante

Chelsea hope Romelu Lukaku and N’Golo Kante will be passed fit to play against Arsenal in the Premier League this weekend.

Club record signing Lukaku, who re-signed for the Blues for £97.5million from Inter Milan last week, is set to train with his teammates at Cobham for the first time on Tuesday after completing a spell in quarantine due to Covid-19 protocol.

While Kante was not risked in the 3-0 win over Crystal Palace after sustaining an ankle injury during the Super Cup against Villarreal, which the Londoners won on penalties.

Blues boss Thomas Tuchel said: “We expect Romelu out of quarantine on Monday and on Tuesday he can join team training because Monday is our day off.

Romelu Lukaku could make his second Chelsea debut against Arsenal


“We will prepare him to be ready for Arsenal and hopefully he can be on the pitch. We get the number one striker in and we want to have him on the pitch, this is very clear.”

Kante played for 65 minutes in Belfast against Villarreal, and Tuchel is confident the World Cup winner will be available from the middle of the week to assess.

We get the number one striker in and we want to have him on the pitch, this is very clear.

Thomas Tuchel

Tuchel said: “N’Golo felt discomfort in his ankle. He tried in the warm-up to the Super Cup match against Villarreal and he played a little bit with pain and overcame the pain.

“But he felt it again and we had to decide to take the responsibility and to take him out and not do any risk now in the beginning of the season.

“I think N’Golo will be back in the middle of the week to be ready for Arsenal.”

N’Golo Kante played through the pain barrier in the UEFA Super Cup (Niall Carson/PA)

(PA Wire)

Chelsea did not suffer from the absence of the pair against Patrick Vieira’s Palace as goals from Marcos Alonso, Christian Pulisic and top-flight debutant Trevoh Chalobah secured a routine win.

Belgium international Lukaku is preparing for a second Blues debut, having made 15 senior appearances during his first spell with the west London club between 2011 and 2014.

He won the Serie A title with Inter last term and Tuchel says the 28-year-old’s presence provides options for a change of formation.

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel will have fresh options to pick from with the arrival of Romelu Lukaku (Niall Carson/PA)

(PA Wire)

“We have now with Romelu, the chance to play also with two strikers like they did in Inter with him, or to continue with three strikers,” said Tuchel.

“We will see now how this works out and who fights for the places around him.“I think he will lift the pressure of the young guys’ shoulders.”

Tuchel confirmed midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek – an unused substitute against Villarreal – was unavailable against Palace following a positive coronavirus test.

PA contributed to this report

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