Tuchel confirms two FA Cup final starters; compares Prem importance

Thomas Tuchel weighing up Chelsea transfer options

Thomas Tuchel said that Chelsea have two finals in a row as they prepare for their crucial double header with Leicester.

Chelsea are preparing for two games in a row against Leicester which could be season defining. First, they face off in the FA Cup final on Saturday. Then, they take part in a crucial battle in the top-four race in the Premier League on Tuesday.

Both will have huge implications, but Tuchel cannot prioritise one or the other.

“I can’t judge it. These are two finals and we don’t think about anything else,” he said. “It’s a final for cup and a final for top four. That’s clear.

“We missed a chance against Arsenal to have a decisive advantage and we have to cope with that.”

Tuchel knows how beneficial it would be to build momentum by winning their FA Cup clash first.

“Every win gives you a good feeling and a momentum you work hard for,” he said. “It’s pretty much all the same.

“It’s curious we play our two finals against the same team and it will be tough, complicated.”

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Tuchel will have to weigh up his selections carefully for both matches, but one thing he was able to confirm was that Kepa Arrizabalaga would start in goal.

“He brought us to the final so he deserves to play in the final,” he said.

However, the coach said nothing has changed as regards the battle to be number one between Kepa and Edouard Mendy.

“Nothing has changed. Kepa is a fantastic guy and Edou too,” he said. “They are working at an excellent level and an impressive way.

“Edou is No.1 and Kepa is a strong goalkeeper to have in the squad. Tomorrow is the next challenge for him to show.”

Tuchel welcomes Kovacic back

Jorginho; Mateo Kovacic; Kai Havertz TEAMtalk

Chelsea have a full squad to choose from after the return of Mateo Kovacic. Tuchel stressed how important it will be to have the midfielder back.

“It’s huge because Mateo has everything we need in the midfield: experience, power, can beat players, has physical ability and has played big games in the Premier League.

“When we missed N’Golo [Kante] and Mateo, we lacked a lot of quality, energy and experience. Billy [Gilmour] did a huge job in huge games but it’s not fair to compare him to these players because they have more experience and are a step ahead in their development.

“It’s big news that Kova is back because he’s a big guy in the dressing room around important matches.”

As Tuchel referred to, Chelsea have missed Kante when he has been unavailable as well. But the Frenchman is in contention to complete 90 minutes.

“We took the decision together to leave him out against Arsenal and give him treatment,” Tuchel explained. “It was pain management, not a huge injury. It was nothing to be afraid of getting bigger.

“He trained yesterday and today full, no complaints. He will start tomorrow and hopefully finish the game for us.”

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