Ziyech ruled out, Kante to be monitored and an update on Abraham’s future

Thomas Tuchel has confirmed that Hakim Ziyech will miss Saturday’s Premier League opener against Crystal Palace, while N’Golo Kante is a major doubt to face the Eagles.

Ziyech scored for the Blues against Villarreal in the Super Cup final in midweek, before suffering a shoulder injury that forced him off at Windsor Park.

The Moroccan was able to join in with the celebrations following our penalty shootout victory in Belfast, albeit while wearing a sling, and our head coach has confirmed that Ziyech will not require surgery.

‘Hakim will miss the game tomorrow for sure because of his injury,’ confirmed Tuchel at his pre-match press conference.

‘The decision has been made to treat the injury conservatively and give him as much time as he needs to get back to the level he was showing in pre-season.

‘We don’t need to consider surgery, which is very good news and we hope he can be back on the pitch in the next few weeks.’

One player that could join Ziyech on the treatment table this weekend is N’Golo Kante, with Tuchel admitting that the French midfielder is a major doubt to be fit for Saturday after picking up a small niggle against Villarreal.

Kante skippered the side before he was withdrawn in the second half, a game that Tuchel hopes will give his side a psychological boost following the way we defeated the La Liga side.

‘With have some issues with N’Gole Kante from the final,’ admitted the boss. ‘We need to sort this out and we will see how he is before we select our team.

‘We have not made our decisions yet, we will take our time and we will discuss with the medical department who we can push to play another 90 minutes.

‘I think that playing 120 minutes in the Super Cup was the worst thing for us, physically but mentally and psychology, it was the best because winning a penalty shootout gave us a huge boost of positive energy and feelings.’

With the news yesterday that Romelu Lukaku has completed his return to Stamford Bridge from Inter Milan, many reports in the media have suggested that Tammy Abraham could be allowed to depart and the gathered journalists speaking to Tuchel asked for an update on his future.

‘Tammy is in the squad for tomorrow,’ explained Thomas. ‘He is our player and right now it is Friday afternoon and the only focus for us is on Saturday’s game.

‘Of course, there are always possibilities that players could leave us, especially when we have other players arriving in the same position.

‘The situation for Tammy is clear though and it has been discussed. At the moment, there is no news. We have a good relationship, he is our player and he is in the squad for tomorrow.’

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