Analysis

Tuchel: We will go to Villa Park in danger but with no fear

The race for a top-four finish in the Premier League is going right down to the wire, and for Thomas Tuchel the message to his Chelsea side is clear.

We will start the final round of fixtures in the box seat, but a slip-up at Villa Park would give Liverpool and Leicester the chance to leapfrog us.

While Tuchel can’t guarantee a Chelsea victory tomorrow, he is confident his players will get the job done if they trust the process and their own ability.

‘I'm very, very poor at mathematics but I know what can happen if we lose, and of course you can lose any match in football,’ Tuchel said.

‘But there's a big difference between fear and danger. Are we in fear? No, we are not, because we trust our skills.

‘Are we in danger? Yeah, of course. But If I go over the street after training I'm in danger, and I will still go over the street. I will not sit here all day. I will go over the street because I trust myself that I can take care of myself.

‘Will I drive a car today? Yes, I will. Is there a danger of an accident? Yes, a high danger of an accident, but I will still drive the car because I trust my skills and I trust the rules. This is a big difference.

‘So there's no fear because we trust ourselves, and we are aware of the danger. We were aware of the danger from Leicester, and now we are aware of the danger that that can come from Aston Villa, with [Ollie] Watkins and [Jack] Grealish, and [Bertrand] Traore on the side, and high-energy guys in midfield.

‘We will prepare, we trust our skills, and we will have no fear. Then we will see what's the end of it. We have all the right to arrive with self-confidence and genuine belief and trust, and this is what we will do.’

For many of the past 17 years there has been little doubt about Chelsea finishing in the top four. However, in recent seasons we have left it late to do so.

Tuchel accepts that is not ideal, but for him it is simply a sign of the depth of quality in the Premier League these days.

‘We want to be in there in the middle of it, not behind that, we want to be in the middle of it from the first day, of course, but there are always reasons for different scenarios,’ he pointed out.

‘Next season's target is to start good, to improve and to be consistent, because we can produce high-level performances.

‘Don't get me wrong, you need luck in this game. You need luck with not having injuries, or sometimes getting a result and starting a momentum where maybe it hits the post and it creates the opposite.

‘Next season Leicester, Tottenham and all these clubs will not stop fighting for a place in top four. Everybody wants to be safe, ideally some days before the last day in the league but you never know what can happen. You have to adapt if difficulties come up.

‘We needed to respond to adversity and to difficulties, and we will try to iron out these big difficulties. I cannot promise we can do so, but we will try.’

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