Thomas Tuchel has admitted Harry Kane’s absence for Tottenham is a welcome boost for Chelsea ahead of the London derby on Thursday evening.

The England captain suffered problems to both ankles during last week’s 3-1 defeat to Liverpool and Spurs feared the worst given his history with injuries.

Kane rarely manages to get through a season without injury

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Kane rarely manages to get through a season without injury

But Kane has made a quick recovery and Jose Mourinho expects him to be fit next week to face either Everton in the FA Cup or Manchester City in the Premier League.

“Well I would say it’s always easier if Harry Kane’s not playing, this is a given, this is for sure absolutely no secret,” said Tuchel on the England captain’s absence..

“He’s for sure one of the best number nines in the world.

“He’s the role model on the number nine that every team and coach wishes for, in terms of work-rate, ambition, mentality, attitude, and for sure goal-scoring is simply outstanding.

“At the moment we assume he will not play, but we will prepare ourselves for all cases.

“So if he’s on the pitch we will also be prepared for that.”

Tuchel has had a bright start to life at Chelsea

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Tuchel has had a bright start to life at Chelsea

Anticipating a stern test from a typically organised Mourinho team, Tuchel admitted he never had the temerity to view the decorated Portuguese manager as a role model when climbing the football ladder himself.

“First of all I strongly believe that it’s Tottenham against Chelsea and not me against Jose,” added the new Blues boss.

“Was he a role model? Honestly, when I started my career he was so far away, like the moon from the earth, so he could not be a role model at all.

“I was happy at the academy, then I was promoted to first league football and from there I just enjoyed and focused on every day.

“He’s one of the best managers in the world, he has now created a squad at Tottenham that’s very, very competitive, very, very strong.”

Chelsea will head to Spurs with injury doubts over defender Kurt Zouma and midfielder Kai Havertz.

Both players were forced out of training on Wednesday with unspecified injuries, leaving Tuchel admitting both will require late fitness tests.

“We have two little issues today on the training pitch,” Tuchel said.

Havertz is a doubt for the Spurs clash


Havertz is a doubt for the Spurs clash

“Kurt Zouma and Kai Havertz went off the pitch with little issues, so they are checking now, doing images right now.

“So it’s questionable if they are in the squad for (Thursday).”


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