(Reuters) – Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel believes that his side is unlikely to find much support among neutrals when they take on Liverpool in the FA Cup final on Saturday, but said that they do not mind being the “bad guys” as long as they lift the trophy.
Tuchel’s comments come days after Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola claimed that “everyone” in England supported Juergen Klopp’s Liverpool as the two teams battle it out for the Premier League title.
“(Klopp) is the master of being the underdog. He can talk you into being the underdog against Villarreal and against Benfica, and it’s a miracle how they even draw against them,” Tuchel said.
“He does it all the time. That’s part of it, where the sympathy comes.”
Chelsea, third in the league, will be out to avenge their League Cup final defeat by Liverpool earlier this season and also avoid losing three FA Cup finals in a row.
“There’s nothing to be jealous of – Kloppo is a fantastic guy. When he trained Dortmund, the whole country loved Dortmund. Now he trains Liverpool and you have the feeling the whole country loves Liverpool,” Tuchel added.
“If we are the bad guys tomorrow, then no problem. We take that role. We don’t want to have the sympathy of the country tomorrow – we want to have the trophy.”
Liverpool, who trail leaders City by three points in the league with two games remaining, are chasing a quadruple of trophies after also reaching the Champions League final.
Tuchel said Chelsea had enough about them to deny Liverpool a first FA Cup title in 16 years.
“They allow chances. We proved it – we had big chances in the League Cup final … it’s very hard to exploit these spaces because you need perfect timing. But you can find solutions if you have a perfect day.”
(Reporting by Dhruv Munjal in Bengaluru; Editing by Himani Sarkar)