N’Golo Kante will miss Champions League game but could be back for weekend derby

Now the international break is in the rear-view mirror, we can really start getting stuck into the new season.

This week is a good one – the first game of our Champions League defence followed by a big derby against Spurs at the weekend.

The bad news is that we will be without key man N’Golo Kante for that first game – and possibly the second one too.

In his press conference today, Thomas Tuchel confirmed Kante wouldn’t return for the Zenit St Petersburg game, and while he kept the door open for the Spurs match, it was by no means definitive.

Our win against Aston Villa last week showed a) that we can win without Kante but that b) we look very vulnerable without him.

Zenit shouldn’t present too much of an obstacle, but Spurs in a derby game is not a fixture we’d want to play without the France star.

Either way, there’s not much we can do apart from hope for a swift recovery, and hope Kante isn’t pushed into playing before he’s ready.