Europa League Final: Maurizio Sarri issues update on fitness of N'Golo Kante ahead Arsenal clash
What's the story?
In case you didn't know...
The world cup winner missed out on Chelsea's final Premier League game after he suffered a hamstring injury in the previous matchday against Watford. Chelsea have been hoping that the Frenchman would become fit to feature in the Europa League final. He was well on course to full fitness until a fresh injury in training on 25th May has caused many a concern within the club.
The heart of the matter
The Chelsea manager discussed the fitness condition of Kante at a press conference in Baku. Responding when asked if Kante would be fit, Sarri said:
"I don't know. He had a little problem on Saturday, a very little problem with his knee. It's not really a very serious injury.
"The problem is the timing because we had only four days to try to recover him. We are trying. At the moment we don't know. We will try until the last moment. We will try tomorrow, but at the moment we don't know.
"He is 50/50 at the moment. Yesterday 60/40 for the no, today 50/50. He was a little bit better this morning.
"But we are in trouble in midfield. At the moment we have only three midfielders for three positions. N'Golo is really important for us. He is the only defensive midfielder we have. Without N'Golo it's a problem for us."
Sarri will be hoping that Kante will become fit to feature in the final against Arsenal. A lot is at stake for the Italian who has endured a difficult first season in England. With Ruben Loftus-Cheek already out, Kante's absence would mean that Sarri would have to go ahead with a Kovacic-Barkley-Jorginho midfield that might end up being a bit susceptible to Arsenal attacks.
If Kante misses out, there'll be a lot more pressure on Eden Hazard to lead Chelsea to the trophy against Arsenal in Baku.