Tuchel and Kovacic deny celebrating Porto draw

Thomas Tuchel and Mateo Kovacic have both denied claims that Chelsea’s players celebrated being drawn to face Porto in the Champions League quarter-final.

Kovacic’s former Real Madrid team-mate, now Porto defender, Pepe has claimed the Blues see the Portuguese side as the weakest in the last eight of the competition.

“No it’s not true,” Kovacic said at a press conference ahead of Wednesday’s first leg. “It’s strange to hear that from him.

“They knocked out a big opponent and they showed great spirit. It will be a tough game as they fight together and stay together.”

Blues head coach Tuchel also denied his team see Porto as the weakest link left in the tournament.

“How would we celebrate it?,” the German said. “They are a very strong team and we respect everyone. We’re playing a quarter-final in the Champions League.

“We have the feeling that we are strong enough to overcome Porto but it will be a tough match as they are very experienced.”

Tuchel, who was also speaking at a pre-match press conference, revealed that N’Golo Kante and Christian Pulisic have been passed fit to join the squad for the trip to Sevilla, where both legs of the tie are being played.

Both players have been nursing hamstring injuries but trained on Tuesday and are fit enough to be involved.