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Lille's Sanches ruled out of Champions League game against Chelsea


Portuguese international Renato Sanches will miss the return leg of Lille’s Champions League last-16 tie against Chelsea due to a muscle injury, the French club said.

The 24-year-old, who picked up the injury in a 0-0 Ligue 1 draw with St Etienne, has been a key cog for Lille this season, making 18 league appearances and scoring five goals.

“Sanches suffered an injury to the biceps femoris muscle in his left thigh,” Lille said on Saturday.

“The Portuguese international is estimated to be out of action for three weeks, depending on the clinical evolution of his injury.”

Goals from Kai Havertz and Christian Pulisic put reigning champions Chelsea in the driving seat to advance to the quarter-finals with a 2-0 win over Lille in the first leg.

Sanches’ current timeline for return also rules him out of Portugal’s World Cup play-off tie against Turkey in Porto on March 24.

Portugal, who won the Euros in 2016, risk failing to qualify for the World Cup this year after finishing behind Serbia in their qualifying group.

The winner of Portugal’s first play-off will face either Italy or North Macedonia in a winner-takes-all play-off final on March 29 to decide who qualifies for Qatar 2022.



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