Pep Guardiola has insisted that Chelsea do NOT have the psychological advantage over their Manchester City side ahead of tomorrow’s Premier League clash.
But a former Blues star disagrees, talkSPORT said Thomas Tuchel had a clear advantage over his rival boss ahead of the huge clash.
Since arriving at Stamford Bridge less than 12 months ago, German coach Tuchel has done wonders and proved a particularly sharp thorn in Guardiola’s side.
He’s on a three-game winning streak against the Spaniard, setting up victories against City in the league and FA Cup last season, before securing the Blues’ second Champions League title by beating City in the final.
The duo are now facing each other for the first time this season – live on talkSPORT – in one of the Premier League’s first two kick-offs on Saturday.
And Guardiola has insisted that Chelsea’s winning streak will not affect their last meeting.
“We will prepare for the game as we have prepared for Southampton and the previous games,” Guardiola said.
“Every game is a new challenge and an opportunity to improve and an opportunity to learn and do it better.
“It’s not a final, it’s completely different from previous games. The FA Cup was a [semi-]final, a close game and we lost it. The Premier League was already done, we had won [the title] already we were almost champions, and of course the Champions League was a massive, massive game.
“We’re trying to learn, now it’s a new competition.”
“We played a big final – we lost but played a big final,” he said of City’s Champions League final defeat, hinting that he and the team would be looking to learn from their mistakes against Chelsea.
“They controlled all the departments, which is why it was difficult in the Champions League final against an exceptional team.
“My impression is that we played with a lot of courage with personality but unfortunately we couldn’t do it with the counter attacks, the long balls, the second balls were not good enough and they beat us. . “
However, former Chelsea defender Mario Melchiot believes Tuchel has the upper hand in the fight.
The Dutchman told talkSPORT: “He [Tuchel] comes from the game of playing soccer, so he’s going to try to get on the front foot and try to push them as far as he can.
“But I know he [Guardiola] will have in mind, he knows that someone is playing against him now.
“Tuchel will have respect but will have the feeling that he can beat him”
As both managers prepare for what is arguably the biggest game of the season yet, Guardiola knows the loss could be a blow to their attempts to hold on to the total.
As it stands, City sit fifth in the table with 10 points in their opening five matches.
The victory will put them on a par with Chelsea with 13 points, however, the loss will put them six behind the Blues and a huge boost in the title race.
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