Tuchel: Man City remain the EPL benchmark

Thomas Tuchel admitted that Chelsea’s Premier League title race could be over if the Blues lose on Saturday at “benchmark” club Manchester City.

Chelsea follow Pep Guardiola’s City with 10 points ahead of this weekend’s match at the Etihad Stadium, with Andreas Christensen following the Blues’ last COVID-19 absence.

Second-placed Chelsea beat City 1-0 in Porto in May to win the Champions League, but Blues boss Tuchel admitted that Guardiola’s men are still the best in England.

City have won 11 Premier League games on the spin, while Chelsea have lost only once in 15, but have also drawn six games in that stint.

Asked if the defeat at City would end Chelsea’s title challenge, Tuchel replied: “Maybe, maybe, who knows?

“The biggest difference so far this season, as far as I am concerned, is that they are better dealing with injuries and the COVID situation.

“Maybe it’s lucky, maybe they do it better, whatever, but they have fewer injuries from key players, fewer players out and fewer weeks where they are missing out.

“And they did not suffer from COVID as we did for many weeks. That this is a huge difference.

“Because we had some draws during the season that weren’t necessary, and when you have the full team, you create a certain atmosphere that pushes everyone to the edge.

“And you have to be on your edge and at the highest level if you want to compete with Man City.

“They are the benchmark, they are the best team in England at the moment. This is something we have to admit realistically.

“I’m always a good fighter, but I’m also always very realistic.”

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