'Chelsea will hunt Manchester City down next season', says Thomas Tuchel

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Thomas Tuchel has vowed Chelsea will hunt down Manchester City next season to close the gap to Pep Guardiola's side. 

Chelsea currently trail Guardiola's men by 20 points in the league, albeit with a game in hand over the league leaders. 

And the two sides come head-to-head in the semi-finals of the FA Cup on Saturday evening at Wembley, looking to clinch a spot in the final against either Leicester City or Southampton. 

Tuchel has ever beaten Guardiola as a manager, and was asked if Chelsea go into Saturday's match as underdogs.

The Chelsea head coach replied: "Yes and no. We have to accept that there is a gap between us and Manchester City. 

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"If you look at the results in the Premier League and the fixtures in the last years we have to accept this. And it's important that we accept this without making ourselves too small."

But the Blues boss made a defiant statement of intent, stating Chelsea will hunt their league rivals down from day one next season.

He added: "So from next year on, from day one of next season, we will hunt them, try to close the gap between us. And this the benchmark.

"For me in Europe there are two teams who are the benchmark, there is Bayern Munich and Manchester City. But of course, he [Guardiola] made it impossible for us to compete with Mainz.

"I think we had two draws with Dortmund and then a cup final in a penalty loss, and another draw at home with Dortmund. We came close. It's time that we beat them, and the next try is tomorrow.

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"I don't believe in how big clubs are, how tough or are we equal or not. We have to admit there is a gap but for 90 minutes we are very self-aware and very self-confident that we believe we can close the gap for one game. And this is the target for tomorrow.

"I arrive with a team that I am happy to compete with against the benchmark in England and Europe. We want the momentum of football on our side, and to play at the top level it's not to force things, and we'll need a bit of luck."


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