Mateo Kovacic has suffered a setback in his recovery from a thigh strain, putting hopes of him featuring for Chelsea against Real Madrid in doubt.

The midfielder has not played for the Blues since a 4-1 win over Crystal Palace on April 10.

He trained on Friday in the hope of perhaps being available for Saturday's Premier League clash with Fulham.

But he now looks set to miss that game and is a doubt for the second leg of the Champions League semi-final, with Chelsea holding an advantage on away goals after a 1-1 draw in Spain.

Asked about Kovacic's availability at a pre-match media conference, manager Thomas Tuchel replied: "He is still injured, he trained with us, he felt something at the end of the training so he's still not available.

"All other players are available except for Antonio Rudiger who got injured in the last minute of the Madrid game.

"Before today, before training we thought Kova had a big chance to join us at the latest for Madrid, so now we have a little setback, not a big one.

"With him I don't want to be too negative, let's see how he feels tomorrow and for Toni I'm quite positive for Wednesday."

Chelsea, who are three points clear of fifth-placed West Ham, can ill-afford to let up as they fight for a top-four finish that would secure their Champions League place for next season while aiming to win it this term.

After the Fulham game, Tuchel's men have the second leg against Madrid and then face Manchester City and Arsenal prior to the FA Cup final with Leicester City on May 15.

Tuchel conceded it can be difficult to find balance in his team amid such a hectic schedule, adding: "We are in the middle of the race, is it always easy to switch from one competition to another? No, but who cares?

"Everybody can do easy. It's our job to switch focus and it's my job to find the mix, to put the players in the right mindset and to prepare this match in the way that everybody understands the importance of the match.

"We did not work that hard, and I hope the players feel the same, they did not work that hard all these weeks, all these matches to give us this advantage just to let it slip through our hands by not being focused.

"It's [the schedule] brutal honestly. We played in France [at PSG] the same amount of games, two cups and also 20 teams in the league so we got the impression. But, of course, the intensity of the league, the challenge of the league is very, very different now here.

"It is another level, it's quite relentless. But it keeps you on your front foot and it keeps you coming out of bed early. There is simply no time to breathe, there is no time to sit back and get too relaxed or comfortable. This is a good thing, it sharpens your mind, it sharpens your mentality.

"This is what I find very impressive in this club, everybody is on the front foot, everybody in the club is fully aware of what it takes to be in shape, this is very impressive and that's why, although it's super demanding, we feel very comfortable because we arrive any game with the knowledge and deep conviction that we are prepared for this, we can perform at this level and we can adapt."

The implosion of the European Super League (ESL) over the past 48 hours was more about the breakaway group losing out to the establishment and had little to do with the fans.

Jurgen Klopp acknowledged Liverpool are "under pressure" to qualify for next season's Champions League as they look to salvage something from a difficult season.

The Reds were knocked out of this year's competition at the quarter-final stage after a goalless draw with Real Madrid at Anfield saw them lose 3-1 on aggregate.

Their exit on Wednesday ended any hopes of silverware in this campaign and they now face a battle to finish in the Premier League's top four with seven games left.

Liverpool are in sixth place, jostling with city rivals Everton along with Chelsea, Tottenham, Leicester and West Ham for the lofty finish they want.

Klopp's side head into Monday's clash with Leeds United on the back of three consecutive Premier League wins – just the second time they have strung together a trio of league wins this season.

Liverpool also boast a good recent record against the West Yorkshire club, with Leeds having won just one of their last 11 home games against the Reds in all competitions (drawn three, lost seven).

Speaking at a news conference on Saturday ahead of the trip to Elland Road, the Liverpool manager claimed his side are feeling the heat.

"Yes, we are under pressure, how everyone can imagine, in the sense that we want to finish in the top four but we don't know in the moment if we will," Klopp said.

"But we have seven games to prove that point and that's what we try.

"There are obviously two things in football that are important: one is the performance, the other is results. The last three Premier League games we won, one Champions League game we lost and one we drew.

"The one bad game we played in that spell was the Champions League game we lost, all the other games were OK or better, so that's what we have to keep doing: play our best football.

"And still you have to accept then the result because you have to finish the situations off, what we didn't do in the second leg against Real Madrid obviously, but that does not mean we will not do that forever again.

"That's the situation, just go for it. It's not only about having a response or whatever, it's just go for it, go and go and go, play your best football."

Liverpool won the reverse fixture against Leeds 4-3 on the opening day, and they have done the double over Leeds four times in the Premier League (1996-97, 1997-98, 1999-2000 and 2002-03).

Klopp said: "When you think about Leeds, it's like, 'It's uncomfortable, you have to go and do this and this and this' – exactly the same thing Leeds has to do when they think about us: 'Oh my God, how do we defend that?'

"We cannot do more actually, before a game. The way is clear – we have to win football games. The best way would be to win all the football games, but there are tough opponents and we respect that, we really respect that. 

"We see the situation we are in and we see it positively, to be honest. We are around, we have to win our games to put pressure on the other teams and stuff like this."

Klopp has no fresh injury worries ahead of the fixture and revealed positive progress in the rehabilitation of long-term injury victims Joe Gomez, Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Jordan Henderson.

He added: "Joe is outside running now and all these kind of things, which is obviously always a big step after all injuries.

"He [Gomez] looks fine when he is running, no real reaction in the knee, which is very important. It obviously still takes time but he's in a good way. Like Virgil, Joel and Jordan are."

Bayern Munich face mounting injury problems ahead of Saturday's showdown with Union Berlin, as Hansi Flick fears Niklas Sule could miss the second leg with Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.

Sule, Leon Goretzka, Lucas Hernandez and Marc Roca will all be absent when Bayern return to Bundesliga action at the weekend.

Defender Sule and midfielder Goretzka were both injured in the 3-2 quarter-final first-leg loss to PSG, with the former a major doubt for the return match.

"Leon Goretzka, Niklas Sule, Lucas Hernandez and Marc Roca will all be unavailable," said head coach Flick.

"Niklas Sule and Leon Goretzka have muscular problems. Leon's problems aren't quite as bad as Niklas'.

"So Niklas will probably miss the second leg versus PSG as well. We need to wait and see how things develop.

"Marc got injured against Leipzig. He started training again but had to stop. Lucas suffered a knock, this is nothing to do with his abdominal muscle injury, but it's painful.

"We're hoping Leon and Lucas will be available in Paris."

Despite Bayern's midweek setback in defence of their Champions League title, Flick's men sit seven points clear at the Bundesliga summit ahead of the visit of seventh-placed Union Berlin.

Union held the German champions to a 1-1 draw in December and Flick expects another tough test from Urs Fischer's side.

"We want to beat Union, but it will be difficult," he said. "We will also be taking workload into consideration however, but three points are our priority.

"I like their mentality and the way they play football. They run a lot and are very dynamic. The coach is doing an outstanding job and I'm looking forward to seeing him again."

Pep Guardiola has warned his Manchester City players to not take Borussia Dortmund and their "incredible quality" lightly in Tuesday's Champions League quarter-final first leg.

City saw off Dortmund's Bundesliga rivals Borussia Monchengladbach to book their last-eight spot, while Die Schwarzgelben edged past Sevilla. 

It will be the first meeting between the sides since the group stage of the 2012-13 season, which saw a 1-1 draw at the Etihad Stadium and a 1-0 win for Dortmund in the reverse fixture in Germany. 

Despite a seven-game unbeaten run in the Champions League, Dortmund have endured a difficult domestic campaign, with Saturday's 2-1 defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt leaving them seven points adrift of fourth place. 

Guardiola knows Dortmund well, having come up against them regularly during his time as Bayern Munich coach between 2013 and 2016, and insists he will not be taking Edin Terzic's side lightly, irrespective of their league struggles. 

"If one person in Manchester knows Dortmund, it's me," he told a media conference. "The culture of this club, the way they play, and I will not find one single player from Dortmund without quality. 

"They spend a lot of money on young players and they pay a lot of money to agents to bring these players there because they have incredible quality. Incredible. 

"Maybe they didn't find consistency in the Bundesliga this season, but in one game or two games they are able to do anything. 

"We saw this against Sevilla. Sevilla knows European competition like few teams in Europe; they won three Europa Leagues in a row. Sevilla know how to play two legs and Dortmund beat them.

"I have incredible respect for what Dortmund has done. I was in Germany for three years; I know their quality."

Central to Dortmund's hopes will be Erling Haaland, who has scored in each of his last six Champions League matches. 

Should he find the net at the Etihad Stadium, the Norway international will become just the fifth player in the competition's history to score in seven in a row, joining Cristiano Ronaldo, Robert Lewandowski, Edinson Cavani and Ruud van Nistelrooy in an elite group.

Guardiola is well aware of Haaland's talent, with City rumoured to be a possible destination for him at the end of the season, but he said Dortmund have plenty more players who can cause his side problems. 

"It's not just Haaland, but [Jadon] Sancho, [Marco] Reus, [Mats] Hummels," he added. "Emre Can can play seven, eight, nine positions. They have big holding midfielders in the middle and when they run, they kill you. 

"The quality is there. The players don't know it because we haven't spoken about Dortmund yet, but we're going to prepare for the game like we did against Leicester City.

"We will look at what they do, their strengths, their weaknesses, and try to be aggressive and try to win this game. And then travel in one week to Dortmund to win the second game. This is the target."

Leipzig full-back Angelino insists the pressure is on Liverpool and believes the German side can still win their Champions League last-16 tie.

Liverpool won the first leg 2-0 in Budapest three weeks ago, with the second leg to be played on Wednesday in the Hungarian capital again.

The first leg was tighter than the scoreline suggested with Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane pouncing to score early second-half goals.

That combined with the Reds' recent domestic struggles will offer Leipzig confidence they can turn around the tie.

"I would say the pressure is more on them than us. We’re the underdogs," ex-Manchester City man Angelino said.

"If we don’t make big mistakes and put our chances away, we can turn the situation around. There are still 90 minutes to go.”

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insisted the Premier League loss to Chelsea is a "massive blow" to the club's top-four hopes.

Thursday saw Liverpool's season crash to a new low, the struggling defending champions beaten 1-0 by resurgent visitors Chelsea at Anfield.

Having previously gone three-and-a-half years without a Premier League defeat on home soil, Liverpool have now lost their last five home outings – the longest run in the club's history.

Liverpool, who are first reigning English top-flight champions to lose five home league games in a row, are languishing in seventh position – four points adrift in the race for Champions League qualification and 22 points behind runaway leaders Manchester City.

"It is a massive blow," German boss Klopp told Sky Sports.

"It is not done yet, but we don't have to talk about if you lose that many games, you don't have the right to go to the Champions League.

"We have to win football games and we know that and we will work on it, but for tonight, it was not enough."

Liverpool have earned just 10 points from 11 Premier League matches in 2021 – only West Brom (nine), Newcastle United (seven) and Southampton (four) picking up fewer.

Star Liverpool full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold added: "Tough to take. These are the games that we need to win, especially with our aims and targets for the season. I'd say pushing for the top four, it's massively important that we won today.

"But there's nothing we can do about it now, except learn from it and pull out what we could have done better and go again. We're on a quick turnaround to put things right on Sunday."

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admitted the faltering Premier League holders will struggle to "excite" potential signings without Champions League football.

Klopp helped end Liverpool's 30-year wait for an English league title last season, but the defending champions are struggling to replicate that form this season.

Liverpool are not only 22 points behind runaway leaders Manchester City, but they are also sixth and two points adrift of the top four in the race for a Champions League berth.

The Reds have been linked with the likes of Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland and Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe, but Klopp issued a transfer warning ahead of Thursday's blockbuster clash against fifth-placed Chelsea.

"The main reason for qualifying for the Champions League is always financial," Klopp said. "It is a great competition to play in but for the club it's about [finances].

"Sure, you want to excite some players. In the beginning we were sitting with some players who had offers from clubs who played in the Champions League and it was like 'ok, sorry, we can only offer nothing or Europa League!'

"But apart from that it's always about finances. This year there is no difference, I would say. I hope people still see we do our absolute best and try everything to make it happen, but we will see how it will end up.

"It is not that the owners called me and said 'if you don't qualify for the Champions League then this or that will happen', because we are all together. We all understand the situation. They know we try absolutely everything to qualify for the Champions League again, that's clear."

Klopp, meanwhile, is ready to block his players from representing their countries during the international break due to quarantine protocols amid the coronavirus pandemic.

World Cup qualifiers are set to take place this month but under current COVID-19 guidelines, arrivals from countries the United Kingdom regards as high risk are subject to 10 days of hotel quarantine.

"I think all the clubs agree that with the same problems, we cannot just let the boys go and then sort the situation when they come back by placing our players in a 10-day quarantine in a hotel. It is just not possible," Klopp said.

"I understand the needs of the different FAs but this is a time where we cannot make everyone happy and we have to admit the players are paid by the clubs so it means we have to be first priority."

Klopp added: "We just deal with what other people decided so we got kind of used to it. But I think everyone agrees we cannot let the players go and play for their country and come back and quarantine for 10 days in a hotel."

Liverpool have lost each of their last four Premier League home games, as many as they had in their first 100 at Anfield under Klopp. The Reds have never lost five consecutive home games in their history, either in the league or all competitions.

Meanwhile, Liverpool have won each of their last four Premier League meetings with Chelsea, netting 11 goals and conceding four. The only team to win five in a row against Chelsea in the Premier League is Blackburn (seven between February 1993 and May 1996).

Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo will look to inflict more Champions League pain on Porto and Borussia Dortmund travel to Sevilla for the first leg in the round of 16 on Wednesday.

Juve advanced from Group G at a canter, winning five of their six games to finish level on points with Barcelona.

The Serie A champions will be expected to knock Porto out, but Andrea Pirlo will be braced for a stern test in the first leg at Estadio do Dragao.

Sevilla do battle with Dortmund at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan a couple of days after it was announced that Borussia Monchengladbach head coach Marco Rose will take over at the Bundesliga club at the end of the season.

We take a look at the best stats on the two ties courtesy of Opta.

Gerard Pique was named in Barcelona's starting line-up for Tuesday's Champions League last-16 first leg against Paris Saint-Germain.

The experienced centre-back had not played for almost three months since being replaced in the LaLiga defeat to Atletico Madrid on November 21, in which he damaged knee ligaments.

His return to partner Clement Lenglet was timely given the injury absence of in-form young defender Ronald Araujo.

Elsewhere, Pedri was also named in Ronald Koeman's starting XI, with Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele lining up in attack.

PSG, without the injured Neymar, named a front three of Kylian Mbappe, Moise Kean and Mauro Icardi for the clash at Camp Nou, with Marco Verratti deployed in the number 10 role.

Barca and PSG last met in the Champions League last 16 in 2016-17, when the Catalans recovered from a 4-0 first-leg loss to progress after winning the return leg 6-1.

Gerard Pique is in contention to face Paris Saint-Germain after being named in the Barcelona matchday squad.

Barca host PSG at Camp Nou on Tuesday as their huge Champions League last-16 tie gets under way.

Pique has not played for almost three months since being replaced in the November 21 defeat to Atletico Madrid in LaLiga.

He suffered a sprain to his right knee and partial damage to his anterior cruciate ligament.

But the defender has been named in a 21-man squad on the morning of the game, from which head coach Ronald Koeman will pick his team.

Barca followed the announcement with an excited tweet declaring Pique "is back".

As well as Pique, forward Martin Braithwaite is included after being medically cleared.

Ronald Araujo is still out, so the potential involvement of Pique alongside Clement Lenglet at centre-back will come as a big boost to Barcelona.

While former Barca star Neymar is ruled out, PSG still boast a host of attacking talent including Kylian Mbappe, Mauro Icardi and in-form Moise Kean.

Ronald Koeman insists the match in LaLiga between Barcelona and Deportivo Alaves is more important to him than discussing Paris Saint-Germain or Neymar.

A huge Champions League last-16 tie between Barca and PSG begins at Camp Nou on Tuesday and Neymar has been ruled out against his former club through injury.

But Barca boss Koeman stressed the home Alaves match on Saturday was most important to him because it is what comes next.

He also suggested he was considering squad rotation but would not make significant changes prior to the PSG game because he lacks options.

Barca lost 2-0 to Sevilla last time out on Wednesday in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final tie. It was their first defeat inside 90 minutes in 17 matches across all competitions.

But they have won seven and drawn one of their last eight LaLiga games with Alaves.

"I don't think Neymar is an Alaves player," Koeman said when asked about the injury to the PSG forward.

"This is a question for Monday, not for today. I'm not talking about Neymar, I'm not talking about PSG.

"Saturday's game is more important than Tuesday's. We are going game by game and we want to continue our good streak.

"The result of the Sevilla game is there but we played a very good game. If we repeat the game, we do not lose.

"We dominated in many areas against Sevilla, but you also have to have a bit of luck. We need freshness, but the team is feeling very well.

"You don't play a second half like we did in Seville if the team is not physically well."

Defenders Gerard Pique and Ronald Araujo are unlikely to be risked against Alaves.

Koeman added: "Sergino Dest, Miralem Pjanic and Martin Braithwaite have done something [in training on Friday].

"[On Saturday] there is training and we will decide if they are on the squad list.

"For Araujo or Pique, I always believe in the margin of a risk. The objective is to recover players until the end of the season.

"If it is the last game of the season, you can risk more, but I am not in favour of risking a lot for a game.

"Those players have to recover well and step by step. If they are there and they can play, even better."

On the prospect of rotation, he continued: "Of course there are players who have been playing for many minutes with us not having everyone available.

"You have to think about giving rest to those players to be well in the next game. [But] not many [will be rotated], because there is not much we can change either.

"We look at the players, we train and we will decide. By winning the game, you are always mentally less tired than when you don't win.

"The goal is to win. But first you have to play and it will be difficult."

The Alaves match will start a run of four consecutive home games and Koeman added: "It's good to have back-to-back games at home because you save yourself traveling.

"We can rest more now and hopefully we will get players back to start having a very competitive squad again.

"It is good to see the youth team players and the youngsters play, but we need our more competitive players back."

Lionel Messi has scored 10 goals against Alaves in LaLiga in as many appearances against them, including four in his last three.

If he plays against Alaves, he will equal the record held by Xavi for most Barca league appearances by playing in his 504th top-flight match.

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