Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Thomas Tuchel says Chelsea ready to be the ‘bad guys’ and KO Liverpool’s Quadruple dream for good with FA Cup glory

THOMAS TUCHEL is ready for Chelsea to be the “bad guys” in Saturday’s FA Cup final.

The Blues boss agrees with claims Kop chief Jurgen Klopp has charmed the country into backing his Quad-chasing team.

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Thomas Tuchel is determined to end Liverpool’s bid for a QuadrupleCredit: Alamy
Tuchel reckons Jurgen Klopp's charisma means "the whole country loves Liverpool"

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Tuchel reckons Jurgen Klopp’s charisma means “the whole country loves Liverpool”Credit: Getty

The two Germans go head-to-head at Wembley and Tuchel reckons that he and Chelsea are up against Klopp’s powerful personality as much as his players.

Tuchel said: “Klopp is a fantastic guy,  a  funny guy,  one of the very best coaches in the world and that’s what he does.

“When he trained Dortmund, the whole country loved Dortmund.

“So now he trains Liverpool and you have the feeling the whole country loves Liverpool.

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“It’s big, big, big credit to him and this is what you deal with when you play against him.

“It’s always like this but it’s always the fun part and so if we are the bad guys tomorrow, then no problem.

“Forty nine or forty per cent, then no problem. We take that role, we don’t want to have the sympathy of the country tomorrow, we want to have the trophy.”

Manchester City boss Guardiola was first to suggest Liverpool are the people’s champions and Tuchel agrees.

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He added: “If you fight against it like Pep for many, many years, I can understand the comment that it feels like this. I would say it is hard to really argue with it.

“There is a huge sympathy for Liverpool in this country. They work hard for it and no offence. I can understand what he means.

“Klopp is the master of being the underdog. He can talk you into them being the underdogs against Villarreal and against Benfica, and it’s a miracle, miracle how they even draw against them.

“He does it all the time. That’s part of it, that’s also where the sympathy comes. There’s nothing to be jealous of.

“You have to stand up against it. Just be self-confident, do your thing and not get influenced.

“I was the guy behind him at Dortmund. I have nothing but the biggest respect for him for what he’s doing. But he is very charismatic.

Tuchel and Klopp know each other well from their time in the Bundesliga

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Tuchel and Klopp know each other well from their time in the BundesligaCredit: AFP

“My players have to step up against it and I have to step up against it. It is always like this. Not only on the field, but on the side. We cannot be bullied by anybody. It is not possible.”

Chelsea are eager for revenge after losing the Carabao Cup final to Liverpool 11-10 in February’s dramatic sudden death penalty shootout.

Tuchel confirmed SunSport’s exclusive that key midfielder Mateo Kovacic is winning his fitness fight despite suffering ankle ligament damage at Leeds just three days ago.

Tuchel revealed: “The medical department gave the green light to try. The ligament is torn. There is no new injury but heavy pain and it’s heavily swollen. We are hoping maybe time is enough and he makes it.”

N’Golo Kante is also hoping to play some part after missing the last three games.

Klopp or Tuchel will become the first German coach to win the FA Cup.

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Chelsea are determined to end a run of two straight final defeats in the famous old cup and Tuchel said: “The FA Cup is one of the most traditional of competitions.

“To have the chance to win it, play the final at Wembley and to have two such big clubs is huge for me.”

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