Chelsea need to produce a 'top level' performance which consists of bravery and courage when they face Manchester City, says Thomas Tuchel.
The European champions head to the Etihad on Saturday to play the league leaders who comfortably beat them earlier on in the season at Stamford Bridge.
10 points separate the teams and a win for City will extend the gap and likely end any hope Chelsea have of winning the title this season.
Tuchel has great respect for Pep Guardiola and City ahead of this weekend's match and was asked about whether or not Chelsea had succeeded in closing the gap to Manchester City.
He replied: “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.
“The team is a different team with everyone available, it’s as simple as that. If you have your 20, 19 players from 23, always and constantly available with always minor injuries. If you have them, this creates energy, atmosphere and extra edge you need if you want to be on level where Man City is. We don’t have it, it’s no excuse. It’s a description and explanation of the situation for us in the last weeks. It makes it even tougher. Does it make it impossible? No. It’s 90 minutes. In 90 minutes you can do anything. You need to be brave, to play with courage, a bit of luck and momentum. We need a top level. No problem for tomorrow but in general it’s like this.”
Tuchel wants bravery, fight, courage - everything they showed in their fightback and comeback against Liverpool at the beginning of the year.
It will be a different kind of test on Saturday but a win on the road to Manchester City would offer a real statement as to the direction Chelsea are heading in under Tuchel.