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Chelsea Confirm Mateo Kovacic Blow Ahead of Zenit St Petersburg Clash

Mateo Kovacic has been ruled out of Chelsea's Champions League clash against Zenit St Petersburg.

The 27-year-old has been out since October with a hamstring problem sustained in training and will once again be absent on Wednesday night at the Gazprom Arena. 

Kovacic wasn't seen in Chelsea's open training session on Tuesday ahead of their trip to Russia, and the club later confirmed that he would remain in the capital to continue his recovery ahead of an expected return at the weekend. 

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He will stay behind along with Trevoh Chalobah (hamstring), Ben Chilwell (ACL) and N'Golo Kante (knee). 

"Kovacic will remain in London with Ben Chilwell, Trevoh Chalobah and N’Golo Kante," read the official Chelsea website on the injury news.

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Kai Havertz trained with the squad and is expected to travel with the Blues on Tuesday to St Petersburg, 

But despite Kovacic being ruled out of the Zenit encounter, it was reported that he's expected to be in contention for selection at the weekend when they host Leeds United at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League.

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This will be a welcome boost for Tuchel who is light in midfield options. Jorginho also missed training on Tuesday and his availability for the Champions League tie remains unclear. 

Ruben Loftus-Cheek could get the nod in midfield, but with Saul's underwhelming performance in midfield against Watford, Tuchel has a decision on his hands as his side look to clinch top spot in Group H for the last-16 draw. 


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