Soccer-Chelsea's Kante, Chilwell ruled out of Man Utd clash

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Champions League - Group H - Chelsea v Juventus - Stamford Bridge, London, Britain - November 23, 2021 Chelsea's N'Golo Kante during the warm up before the match Action Images via Reuters/Peter Cziborra

(Reuters) - Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante is set to miss Sunday's Premier League clash with Manchester United due to injury while the club are waiting to discover if left back Ben Chilwell needs surgery for a similar problem, manager Thomas Tuchel said on Friday.

Kante and Chilwell suffered blows to their knee and were taken off in the midweek Champions League win over Juventus, with the England international's issue more severe.

"N'Golo twisted his knee a little bit against Juventus and feels better, but it seems he'll be out for some days. We still have a little hope but it's almost a miracle if he makes it," Tuchel told reporters.

"Ben is out, he has a partial tear of his anterior cruciate ligament and the decision is to treat it conservatively. The next six weeks will tell the story if he makes it and be available or if he'll need surgery."

Striker Romelu Lukaku, who has not played for more than a month due an ankle problem, is also unlikely to start against United, with Tuchel saying the Belgian needed more time to regain full match fitness.

"The possibility he starts isn't high because we can't be sure what happens in the match and we have to find the balance between giving minutes and being absolutely competitive for 90 minutes," Tuchel said.

Tuchel added he would not take United lightly despite their poor recent results.

"We would never write anybody off in this game. They're a big club and have experienced players," the German said.

"We want to prove a point. We have come from a hard match and now we're onto the next one. We'll be challenged at the highest level again on Sunday."

Leaders Chelsea, who have 29 points from 12 games, are 12 points ahead of eighth-placed United.

(Reporting by Dhruv Munjal in Bengaluru; Editing by Shrivathsa Sridhar)

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