Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has provided an injury update on Antonio Rudiger and Mateo Kovacic ahead of the second leg of the Champions League semi-final tie against Real Madrid.
The Blues secured a 1-1 draw at the Alfredo di Stefano Stadium last week, and they have the crucial away-goal advantage ahead of the return leg at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.
Ahead of the game, Tuchel confirmed that Rudiger is likely to return to action after missing the 2-0 Premier League win over Fulham with a facial injury sustained during the final minutes in Madrid.
The German head coach revealed that his compatriot could make the starting line-up against Los Blancos, but will have to play with a face mask, which he is getting used to in training.
He told Chelseafc.com: “For Toni, I think he will play with a mask. He trained on Saturday with a mask so it’s just about him getting used to it.”
Meanwhile, Tuchel was doubtful whether Mateo Kovacic will be available for the reunion with Madrid after missing the previous seven matches in all competitions with a hamstring injury.
He added: “It will be a very tight race for Kovacic. He had a little setback and felt something in not the same area but the same muscle as before. It’s very likely that he will not make it unfortunately.”
Los Blancos have suffered an untimely injury blow with Raphael Varane ruled out for the European clash, but captain Sergio Ramos has recovered from a hamstring injury and should feature.
When asked on how to handle Ramos, Tuchel suggested that he may resist the prospect of playing with an out-and-out striker in order to keep the Spain international out of the game.
He further said: “If we play with no striker at all and Ramos has nothing to fight then that can also be a solution. I have not made my mind up yet.”
Tuchel has chopped and changed his attacking options. He may go with a similar approach in midweek with Mason Mount and Christian Pulisic likely to return to the starting XI.
Havertz excelled leading the line in the west London derby with a goal in either half, and the German could feature in the false number nine role against Los Blancos.
A goalless draw on Wednesday would be sufficient to see them through to their first final in the elite European competition since 2012.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com