Porto vs Chelsea preview: Pulisic, Kante available

Porto vs Chelsea preview: Pulisic, Kante available

Team news, stats, kick-off time ahead of the Champions League quarter-final first leg between Porto and Chelsea on Wednesday.

Team news

Chelsea will have Christian Pulisic and N’Golo Kante fit after hamstring issues for Wednesday’s first-leg last-eight clash with Porto.

Thomas Tuchel confirmed Tammy Abraham will also be in the squad, though Kante is unlikely to start after his latest muscle complaint.

Porto will take on Chelsea without their suspended two top goalscorers, Sergio Oliveira and Mehdi Taremi, for Wednesday’s match in Seville.

AP - Christian Pulisic


Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has confirmed Christian Pulisic is available for Wednesday’s Champions League tie against Porto, while N’Golo Kante returns to the bench

Tuchel: Rudiger-Kepa bust-up over

Thomas Tuchel has hailed Antonio Rudiger and Kepa Arrizabalaga for showing “courage” to make amends after their training-ground bust-up.

Chelsea boss Tuchel confirmed Germany defender Rudiger and Spain goalkeeper Kepa clashed in training – but insisted that the players have solved the spat and the matter is finished.

Kepa Arrizabalaga and Antonio Rudiger have cleared the air, says Thomas Tuchel


Thomas Tuchel says no action will be taken against Antonio Rudiger and Kepa Arrizabalaga after the pair clashed at training following Saturday’s shock 5-2 defeat to West Brom

“It was nothing to do with the defeat [to West Brom], it was just an incident in training; it got heated up between Toni and Kepa,” said Tuchel. “So we calmed the situation down immediately.

“I don’t want to play it down with anything artificial, these are things we don’t want to accept; it was unusual but they can happen. They are all competitors and want to win training matches.

“We needed to interfere in the situation, so that was serious. But the way the guys handled the situation, that was impressive and showed a lot of courage.

“The reaction was not okay, but the reaction to it, how the guys handled the situation, especially Toni and Kepa, was amazing and showed how much respect they have for each other. They cleared the air immediately.”

Conceicao wary of wounded Chelsea

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from West Brom’s win at Chelsea in the Premier League

Porto boss Sergio Conceicao fears Chelsea’s 5-2 loss to West Brom will have the Blues “more awake to danger” in Wednesday’s Champions League quarter-final first leg.

Conceicao has warned his Porto players to be wary of the wounded Blues, who succumbed to a first loss under new manager Thomas Tuchel in the Premier League on Saturday.

“You know that Thiago Silva was sent off in the first half and that the game had a different course,” said Conceicao.

“Chelsea until this last game had been extremely competent, they have not lost a game in the Champions League, they have the second-best defence in the Champions League and also in the English League. They are a competent team, and when these defeats happen it serves as a warning.

“If you want my opinion, I would prefer that they won the last game. Because these situations make the siren sound and make everyone more alert, more awake to danger, and I honestly don’t like these defeats very much.”

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Opta stats

  • FC Porto have lost five of their eight UEFA Champions League games against Chelsea (W2 D1), only losing more against Real Madrid in the competition (6).
  • Chelsea have won 75 per cent of their UEFA Champions League matches against Portuguese opponents (W9 D1 L2), only winning more games against Spanish teams (13) than against those representing Portugal.
  • This will be only the second knockout tie between Chelsea and Porto in the UEFA Champions League, with the Blues progressing 3-2 on aggregate during the last 16 of the 2006-07 edition.
  • Since winning the UEFA Champions League in 2003-04, FC Porto have only won one of their six games in the competition at the quarter-final stage (D1 L4). Their last such victory came against Bayern Munich in April 2015, however, they were later eliminated 7-4 on aggregate.
  • Following victories in both legs against Atlético Madrid in the Round of 16, Thomas Tuchel could become just the second Chelsea manager to win his first three games in the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League. The previous manager to do this was Roberto Di Matteo in 2011-12, the last time Chelsea won the competition.

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