How Chelsea prepared for FA Cup semi-final showdown against Manchester City

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Thomas Tuchel revealed he let his Chelsea squad stay in Seville for an extra night to mentally recover ahead of their FA Cup semi-final clash against Manchester City.

Chelsea travel across London to Wembley on Saturday evening looking to book a place in next month's FA Cup final. 

They come into the tie following their Champions League progression on Tuesday despite falling to defeat against Porto. But following the game, Tuchel allowed his squad to soak up the sun in Spain and the team stayed in Spain for an extra night.

Tuchel will be hoping his side are refreshed and reenergised on Saturday at Wembley.

Tuchel will be hoping his side are refreshed and reenergised on Saturday at Wembley.

Tuchel wanted to let the team enjoy a beer or a glass of wine as part of team bonding to mentally recover ahead of the FA Cup semi-final against Pep Guardiola's side.

The Chelsea head coach wanted to break the cycle of playing, travelling, recovering, training, preparing and playing with a one day break as the Blues head into the final weeks of the season. 

"We are aware that it is necessary to recover mentally," said Tuchel as relayed by Goal. "For example, we decided to stay overnight in Sevilla because we knew the hotel. It was very nice, in a nice setting.

"We had the chance to sit outside because the weather was very warm. It was a calming circumstance to enjoy each other's company. We had a good sleep and we had a chance to stay together after the match because we created a bubble there.

"It was a good chance because the players have not been able to go out, go to restaurants. For almost a year now, we cannot share a dressing room. So we created this just to feel some time together, have talks outside of tactics and lineups to just bond, let the players bond, enjoy an evening after a game.

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"They could have a glass of wine or sip of beer if they want. It was important to have this environment and organise it like this. It was part of the mental recovery. We are aware that we have many meetings after games and training sessions.

"We want to have sessions where there isn't too much explanation or talking, just to find exercises on the pitch that bring a lot of fun and joy and sweat out the tension. Things like this are very important to help the seriousness of how we prepare and play in games.

"They must enjoy it and have a good atmosphere at Cobham."

Chelsea will be without Mateo Kovacic and Andreas Christensen against Man City due to hamstring injuries. N'Golo Kante will start for the Blues at Wembley, but Tammy Abraham has been left out of the 20-man squad.


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