Chelsea rocked by injury to key man who would have started before Liverpool FA Cup final

Mateo Kovacic limped off in Chelsea’s win at Leeds United and is now unlikely to play against Liverpool at Wembley.

Thomas Tuchel has admitted that Mateo Kovacic is unlikely to be involved for Chelsea in the FA Cup final against Liverpool on Saturday.

The midfielder suffered an ankle setback in the Stamford Bridge side’s 3-0 win at Leeds United last night.

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Kovacic was on the end of a Dan James challenge which earned the Whites forward a straight red card.

Tuchel admitted that the Croatia international was in line to start for Chelsea against Liverpool at Wembley.

But now that is not looking the case.

What’s been said

Tuchel told reporters: “I tell you not as a coach or an expert but I think it’s very unlikely we see him (in the FA Cup final).

“If Mateo misses it I am very disappointed because he was a clear starter.

“You saw the quality with Jorgi (Jorginho) and him in midfield when it was 11 against 11. We will see. Maybe we have a miracle.

“I did not see the challenge live. I just saw it from a distance and I’m not good at looking at these situations because it hurts me. Everyone told me it was a red card.”

Liverpool are sweating on the fitness of Fabinho for the FA Cup final.

The Brazil international limped off with a muscle injury in the Reds’ 2-1 win at Aston Villa on Tuesday.