N’Golo Kante was not involved in Saturday’s big win over Norwich, either on the pitch or among the subs, and Thomas Tuchel has explained why.

The French midfielder did take part in last week’s Champions League win over Malmo, playing 65 minutes before being replaced by Saul with the Blues 4-0 up but Tuchel decided against involving him three days later.‘The game was too early,’ said the boss. ‘He [Kante] did the full training on Friday and after training, he said he feels his muscles a bit tight.‘He went to the physios for massages and for some treatment and he actually wanted to wait until Saturday in the morning to take the decision. I said no, it's such an early game tomorrow, the possibility that it will change is not so high.

‘I said take your time and it was simply one day too early. If the match would have been on Sunday he would have played. So he is fully available for Tuesday and for Newcastle.’Chelsea play at home to Southampton in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday evening before a trip to Tyneside for Premier League action on Saturday.