London: Manager Thomas Tuchel has hailed two “huge” FA Cup final boosts for Chelsea as Mateo Kovacic and N’Golo Kante have been passed fit to face Leicester on Saturday.
Croatia star Kovacic has missed nine matches with a hamstring problem but is now ready to return for the Wembley showdown.
France World Cup winner Kante was kept out of Wednesday’s 1-0 Premier League loss to Arsenal due to a painful Achilles issue, reports DPA.
But now Blues boss Tuchel confirmed on Friday both midfield men are ready to take on the Foxes.
“The whole group is available, Kova is with us again,” said Tuchel “It’s huge because Mateo has everything that we need in midfield. He has the experience, power, acceleration, deceleration, he can dribble the ball and beat players. He’s fast, he has the physical ability and he’s experienced in big games and in the Premier League.”
Tuchel said he missed N’Golo and Mateo in the same match.
“Billy Gilmour did a huge job in both games but it’s not fair to compare him to these players because they have more experience and they are a step ahead in their development,” he said.
“It’s what we need in the key moments of the season. It’s big news for us that Kova is back, he has a huge impact in the dressing room around big matches.”
Kante formed a pivotal part of Leicester’s Premier League title win in 2015 and will now go up against his old club in Saturday’s cup final.
The linchpin midfielder has been back to his very best under German boss Tuchel, with the Chelsea head coach delighted to have one of his chief lieutenants back in top condition.