Chelsea FC News: Christian Pulisic, N’Golo Kante, UCL Match Site

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Chelsea will take on Championship side Barnsley FC in the fifth round of the FA Cup tomorrow night, and ahead of the match there is a whole lot of news and transfer talk.

So let’s dive right in with the news round-up post. We have the transfer talk round-up post over at this link.

Chelsea at Barnsley FC FA Cup 5th Round FYIs

Kickoff: Thurs, Feb 11, 8pm GMT, Oakwell

Chelsea Team News: go here

Chelsea FC Starting XI Prediction: go here

Winger Christian Pulisic, who missed the win over Sheffield due to family issues, is back in training and available for selection tomorrow night.

Midfielder N’Golo Kante is set to make his first start since January 3, manager Thomas Tuchel confirmed. He also addressed the transfer rumors that have linked the Frenchman with a potential move away from the club.

“This is very easy because I think N’Golo fits into every manager’s plans on the planet,” Tuchel responded to a question about the midfield maestro’s future.

“I was desperate to have him in my teams. He is a Chelsea player, a big Chelsea player and one of the best midfielders in the world. Now I am so lucky to have him in my squad. I am so lucky that he is back again.”

“When you look at his performances coming back from injury — we put him on the pitch against Tottenham with no minutes before which was really difficult — he just did what he always does. He helped everybody around him on the pitch with his support, mentality and his quality.

“And if you see the step that he took between the Tottenham match, OK, in training you didn’t see, but in the 20 minutes against Sheffield was a huge performance when we switched to a three in the midfield.

“This was very important to escape the pressure and be in control of the game again. I am very, very impressed. I know him for many years, we know him very well because we came from a French club, so we were very impressed on television.”

The German continued to detail all that the former PFA Player of the Year brings to the table:

n'golo kante

“But to see the guy live, to see how he works, how humble he is and what quality he gives to this team, it is a gift to be his coach. I am super happy. He will start tomorrow. For me his best position is a double six. He can play single six but his strength is also to have a kind of freedom in his game.”

Finally, due to coronavirus precautions, the first leg of Chelsea’s UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie with Atletico Madrid has been moved to a neutral site.

Spain currently prohibits entry from the United Kingdom, unless it’s Spanish citizens returning home, on account of the dire covid-19 situation in the British Isles. The leg that was scheduled to take place at Atletico has now been moved to Bucharest’s National Arena, a 55,634 capacity stadium.

The match will still be played on Feb 23. The new and more contagious variant of covid-19 was first discovered in the UK and it’s wreaked havoc on European football scheduling and logistics.

Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City have all seen their Euro matches moved to neutral locations on account of public health concerns.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports IllustratedChicago Tribune and SB NationFollow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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