Thomas Tuchel says Chelsea will need to be ‘spot on’ as the club take on Liverpool in the FA Cup final at Wembley on Saturday.
Chelsea take on Liverpool in the FA Cup final tomorrow evening, as the West Londoners look to avenge their penalty shootout defeat to the Reds in the Carabao Cup final earlier in the campaign.
It is just the second time that the same teams have faced off in both domestic cup finals in the same season, after Arsenal and Sheffield Wednesday in 1993.
That shootout defeat came alongside two draws in the Premier League this season and Tuchel insists his side must be at their best to come out on top in another hard-fought contest.
“It started with last season’s game at Anfield, and very early in this season’s draw at Anfield, then a draw at Stamford Bridge, and then over 120 minutes and then the penalties [in the Carabao Cup final],” he told his pre-match press conference.
“So very close matches, very intense matches and always we needed our very high level to compete, but we found it in those matches.
“I don’t expect crazy new things from them and also not from us. It’s a big final, a big competition, and we want to be spot on.”
During the Carabao Cup final, Tuchel opted to bring Kepa Arrizabalaga on for the shootout, only for the decision to backfire as the Spaniard failed to save any of the efforts against him before missing his own spot kick to hand Liverpool the trophy.
Kepa Arrizabalaga misses the 22nd penalty after being subbed on for the shoot-out! 😨 pic.twitter.com/yLIOIQWdUD
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) February 27, 2022
Asked if he would do the same in Saturday’s final, Tuchel said: “I will not tell you. I have an opinion about it. If it comes, you will see.
“In approaching the match we always say ‘let’s see how the game goes and if we still have the change available’. It is never done before.
“We have a plan of what we can do. I’m a bit torn in how much you can practice.”
Tuchel also provided an update on the fitness of N’Golo Kante after the midfielder missed the midweek win at Leeds, revealing that the France international has returned to light training ahead of the final.
“He’s trying [to be fit]. He tried yesterday in team training, hopefully without a reaction.
“It was a reduced training session because of a long travel and the fatigue of travelling so it was not a high intensity training session.
“We will also try today with him. He is keen to make it and hopefully he makes it to training 100%. To be able to plan with him for tomorrow will be crucial for us.”