As head coach Thomas Tuchel gives Chelsea updates before Champions League, we discover players’ status and some team news.
The Chelsea head coach has spoken out ahead of Saturday’s Champions League final against Manchester City in Porto.
And he has deliberated over their journey so far, their chances against Pep Guardiola’s City, and key players’ fitness.
Thomas Tuchel Gives Chelsea Updates before Champions League
1. Tuchel says Chelsea are lucky to qualify this year:
The present Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said the Blues are lucky to qualify for Champions League this season.
Though the Blues lost 2-1 to Aston Villa, Tottenham’s win over Leicester helped Chelsea qualify.
Leicester ended up in 5th place, whereas Chelsea barely (one point) qualified to Champions League’s next season with 4th place.
“We are lucky Tottenham did the job for us. We came to win and to put any doubts to the side and it was not possible,” Tuchel said.
2. Tuchel Talks about Facing City:
“We [have] beaten them [twice since I’ve been at Chelsea], although City will not be quite the same team in the final. Does that give us an advantage? No, not at all,” the coach told UEFA’s official website.
“It’s a completely new game. Guardiola cannot be sure that he has already faced our team, the team that will play in the final,” he continued.
“The same can be said for us. But we know that the final will start from scratch, we must play at the top level once more.”
“It’s always extremely difficult against Guardiola’s teams,” he added, however.
“I’ve played against his Bayern, now I’ve faced his Man City,” he explained. “I’ve watched his Barcelona progress for years, learning his football, how to attack and how to defend. He was building machines to win, and that’s exactly what he’s done in England now.”
Tuchel then said: “It’s safe to say that Man City and Bayern have been the benchmark for European clubs this season and in the past.”
“We are trying to close the gap, and football is good because you can do it even in 90 minutes. It is realistic and we will try to achieve that in the final,” he said.
3. Tuchel on Mendy and Kante:
Thomas Tuchel is optimistic about Edouard Mendy playing for Chelsea in the Champions League final showdown with Manchester City.
At his press conference on Monday, the Blues boss was happy to offer a positive update on Mendy’s recovery.
He told reporters: “With Edou, the update is that we still have hope that he will join in with training on Wednesday with the group.”
“Edou will play if he’s fit, and if he’s not fit on Wednesday, we will try Thursday, and if not then we will try Friday,” he added.
Meanwhile, the German tactician said about N’Golo Kante’s fitness: “For N’Golo, nothing has changed, I think about changing my tactics now to stop asking about N’Golo and just put him on the pitch in Wednesday’s training.”
So, Tuchel’s hopeful about the powerhouse playing the final because “it looks good and I hope it stays like that.”