With Spurs & Bayern Munich looming, Chelsea dealt untimely N’Golo Kante injury blow

The early exchanges of Chelsea’s meeting with Manchester United this evening saw the former dealt a worrying blow on the personnel front.

Chelsea vs Man United

The Blues are currently locked in action with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men at Stamford Bridge.

The matchup marks an absolutely crucial one in the Premier League’s top-4 race.

As things stand, it is Chelsea who occupy the final Champions League berth.

The Londoners, however, before kick-off, sat just 2 points clear of in-form Spurs in 5th.

LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 21: Jorginho of Chelsea celebrates with Cesar Azpilicueta after scoring his team’s first goal during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Arsenal FC at Stamford Bridge on January 21, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Manchester United, meanwhile, sat 4 points further adrift of Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham.

As such, tonight’s showdown in the English capital could see the Red Devils’ Champions League hopes all-but ended.

If it is hosts Chelsea who emerge victorious from the clash, United will slip what would likely prove an insurmountable 9 points behind Frank Lampard’s men.

Kante crocked

Chelsea’s hopes of emerging victorious, however, were dealt a major blow early on this evening.

With just over 10 minutes on the clock, N’Golo Kante went to ground in evident pain.

After being tended to by the hosts’ medical team, it quickly became clear that the Frenchman would be unable to continue, forcing Frank Lampard to hook his star midfielder for Mason Mount.

LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 17: N’Golo Kante of Chelsea leaves the pitch following an injury during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on February 17, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Kante’s injury, meanwhile, could not come at a much worse time for Chelsea, with the Blues set for a pair of absolutely crucial fixtures over the coming week.

First, next weekend, the capital giants will welcome 5th-placed Tottenham to Stamford Bridge, before Lampard’s men get their Champions League campaign back underway in a meeting with Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich 3 days later.

Compounding Chelsea’s woes is the fact that Manchester United have since taken the lead into the break, courtesy of Anthony Martial.

Lampard: Chelsea youngsters must react positively to big signings

Atletico Madrid vs Liverpool betting tips: Champions League preview & predictions

Manchester City vs West Ham betting tips: Premier League match preview & predictions