Top Four Rivals Had Advantage After Cup Exits – Chelsea’s Tuchel
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said its rivals for the UEFA Champions League places had failed to capitalise on the “huge advantage” they were given after early cup exits to allow them to focus solely on the top four race.
Chelsea have reached the final of the FA Cup, League Cup and Club World Cup, as well as the quarter-finals of the Champions League, and have played more games this season than any other Premier League club.
Despite their intense schedule, Chelsea have a strong grip on third place in the league, leading fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur by five points and having played two games less. Arsenal and Manchester United are a further three points back.
“They have been given a huge advantage,” Tuchel told reporters ahead of their league game against Arsenal later on Wednesday. “I was not happy when Tottenham were out of the (Europa) Conference League.”
“Because I thought, ‘Wow, I know what Antonio Conte can do with teams when they are focused and he can train them physically’.”
“I thought this will be a huge uplift for them in the domestic competition, and the same for Arsenal when they went out of the cup. I thought it would be a huge boost for them, because they have a very young and talented team,” Tuchel added.
United manager Ralf Rangnick raised concerns earlier this week about the Premier League’s decision to reschedule their game against Chelsea, while Mikel Arteta said last month that the scheduling of Arsenal’s games was “not fair.”
Chelsea will take on Arsenal at Stamford Bridge, while champions Manchester City will face Brighton & Hove Albion also on Wednesday.
Wednesday’s Premier League fixtures
Chelsea vs Arsenal
Everton Vs Leicester City
Newcastle United Vs Crystal Palace
Manchester City Vs Brighton & Hove Albion.