Thomas Tuchel has hailed Manchester City as one of Europe’s two best sides and says Chelsea will receive a “huge boost” if they are able to beat them in Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final.
Both teams go into the game after securing their places in the Champions League semi-finals in midweek, but now turn their attentions to Wembley, where victory will secure a place in next month’s FA Cup final against either Leicester or Southampton.
Chelsea will go into the game as underdogs, a position that Tuchel is used to when facing Pep Guardiola, having failed to beat him in any of their five previous meetings.
All of those games occurred during Guardiola’s time in charge of Bayern Munich, with Tuchel twice losing against the Spaniard with Mainz before suffering defeat twice more – while also earning a draw – when in charge of Borussia Dortmund.
Chelsea trail City by 20 points in the Premier League and have won just two of the last nine games between the sides, leading Tuchel to say: “We have to accept that there is a gap between us and Manchester City, if you look at the Premier League and the fixtures in the last years.
“It’s important that we accept it without making us too small. From day one of next season we will hunt them, we will try to close the gap between us.
“For me in Europe there are two teams who are the benchmark: Bayern Munich and Manchester City. But for 90 minutes we are very self-confident, we truly believe that we can close the gap for one game.