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Champions League: We Hope Mendy Recovers In Time For Final – Tuchel

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Photo Credit: Football365

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel hopes Edouard Mendy is fit for Saturday’s Champions League final after making a “huge improvement” from a rib injury.

The goalkeeper collided with a post trying to keep out Bertrand Traore’s goal in a 2-1 defeat at Aston Villa.

He was replaced by Kepa Arrizabalaga for the second half before going for a scan.

“We still have hope that he joins training on Wednesday and he joins the group,” said Tuchel.

“He’s made a huge improvement in the management of pain.

“So we need a further update on Wednesday but we hope to have him back in training.”

Chelsea face Premier League champions Manchester City in the Champions League final in Porto.

Mendy, who has impressed since arriving from Rennes last September, has kept 16 Premier League clean sheets to help his side secure a top-four finish.

“Edou will play if he is fit, and if he is not fit on Wednesday, we will try on Thursday, and on Friday, and be always reasonable and take the responsibility for this decision,” said Tuchel.

“At the same time, we have trust if he cannot make it, because we have a strong guy on the bench in Kepa who can start.

“So now the race is on. We are very happy first of all, the images don’t show anything too serious. So every hour counts now, every day counts.

“And hopefully the team around Edou and he himself can do enough that he will be on the pitch. It would be a big boost for us.”

Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante is also a doubt with a hamstring injury but Tuchel added that the France international’s issue “looks good and I hope it stays like that”.

Edouard Mendy appears injured during Chelsea's 2-1 Premier League defeat at Aston Villa

Only Manchester City’s Ederson (19) has kept more clean sheets than Edouard Mendy (16) in the Premier League in 2020-21

‘We were lucky Spurs finished job for us’

Tuchel said Chelsea were “lucky Tottenham finished the job for us” after losing their first Premier League away game under the German.

Chelsea had started the final day of the Premier League season third in the table, knowing victory at mid-table Villa would guarantee a place in the group stages of the Champions League.

With all games starting at the same time on Sunday, Chelsea were on course to finish fifth at one stage.

However, top-four rivals Leicester went from winning 2-1 to losing 4-2 to Spurs, ensuring Chelsea, who had captain Cesar Azpilicueta sent off, eventually finished fourth, one point ahead of the Foxes.

“We are still a young team and we try to improve them and make them learn from every game,” added Tuchel.

“We need to adjust details and we need to be spot on next Saturday if we are to have a positive outcome.”

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