Thomas Tuchel agrees with Jurgen Klopp over Man City Covid record and gap to Chelsea and Liverpool

Now, Tuchel has echoed Klopp’s views about City’s Covid record when asked if they must win at the Etihad to remain in the title race.

“Maybe, who knows? So far the biggest difference in the season as far as I’m concerned is they dealt better with injuries and the Covid situation,” he said.

“Maybe it is lucky, maybe they do it better, but they have fewer injuries to key players, fewer days out and weeks where they miss them. They did not suffer from Covid like we did. This is a huge difference.

“We had some draws this season that were unnecessary. If you have your full squad you create a certain atmosphere for everybody that pushes everybody to the edge and you need to be on your edge and at the very highest level if you want to compete with Man City.

“They are the benchmark, the best team in England right now. This is something we have to admit realistically. We don’t think a lot in scenarios, ‘what happens if’. Let’s play the game. I am always ready for a good fight but also very realistic.

“If you look back to the last games, when we have the full squad feel good and are in a good shape, we are always up for a good fight with Man City. We are always there to push them to the limit and ask some questions maybe they don’t like maybe to answer.

Asked whether Chelsea have closed the gap to City, Tuchel again pointed to squad strength.

He explained: “They opened the gap not over the last months but over the last years. I was never shy to say this, it is my opinion. We try to close it. We were self-confident enough to say we will try to close it from the first day this season. This is what we did. We did very good.

“Don’t get me wrong, I want to be clear about it. I am absolutely happy with the players who travel with us and will be on the pitch. We will inject the most confidence, come up with a plan and push, help, support with genuine belief.

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