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Tuchel updates on Kante and Mendy ahead of Champions League final

Thomas Tuchel has said that it ‘looks good’ with regards to N’Golo Kante and Edouard Mendy being fit to face Manchester City in the Champions League final on Saturday.

Kante missed the weekend defeat at Aston Villa, while Mendy was forced off with a rib injury at half-time and replaced by Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Tuchel gave an update on the duo at the first of two pre-match conferences he will hold this week and confirmed that if Mendy is fit, then he will start in Porto.

‘The situation has not changed with N’Golo in the sense we are still waiting, but it is looking good that he will return to training on Wednesday,’ confirmed Tuchel.

‘I feel like maybe my tactic with him will change, and I will just put him into training on Wednesday! He is looking good and I hope he stays like that for Saturday. We will know more on Wednesday. 

‘With Edou, the update is that we still have hope that he will join in with training on Wednesday with the group.

‘He made a huge improvement with the management of pain from when the injury happened, which is good but of course we will need a further update on Wednesday. We hope to have him back.

‘If he is fit, then Edou will play. We will give him plenty of chance to prove his fitness on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. The race is on.

‘If he cannot play, we will of course be sensible and not take the risk but we also know that we have strong competition from the guys behind and Kepa will take his place if he is not fit.’

After such a gruelling campaign for his players, Tuchel has said he will use this week to assess how best to approach Saturday’s final and hopes to give his squad a ‘mental break’ ahead of another huge fixture.

He confirmed that the players will enjoy a day off tomorrow before getting back to work on Wednesday, before travelling to Portugal later this week.

‘Now is the time for a mental break for the players,’ added our head coach. ‘I will use tomorrow to think about how we approach the game on Saturday. What are the headlines? They key points? How do we approach it mentally and tactically?

‘The players need a little bit of mental rest but we will be back on Wednesday. I want them to be here on Wednesday full of joy. It's maybe one of their most exciting weeks as professional players and we need to embrace the challenge ahead.’

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