Thomas Tuchel names Rudiger, Kovacic and Azpilicueta as the three Chelsea players ‘you don’t want to fight’ as he insists trio are always ready to ‘protect’ their team-mates… with morale in Blues camp high and ‘no-one out there alone’ ahead of huge week
- Thomas Tuchel named three Chelsea players he relies on to show fighting spirit
- He praised Antonio Rudiger, Mateo Kovacic and Cesar Azpilicueta for their fight
- The Blues host Porto in the second leg of the Champions League quarter-final tie
- Tuchel’s squad then turn attention to an FA Cup semi-final against Man City
Thomas Tuchel has issued a warning to Porto ahead of their Champions League clash that Antonio Rudiger, Mateo Kovacic and Cesar Azpilicueta are three Chelsea players they ‘don’t want to fight with’.
The Blues are preparing for their quarter-final second leg against Porto after taking a 2-0 lead in the tie away leg last week. Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell scored the key goals for Tuchel’s side.
Speaking ahead of the second match-up, the German tactician spoke about the players he will rely on to protect the Chelsea team as he praised his squad’s spirit.
Thomas Tuchel named defender Antonio Rudiger among the players to protect the team
Mateo Kovacic (left) is a trusted lieutenant in central midfield for Tuchel since he took charge while Cesar Azpilicueta (right image, left) provides a wealth of experience in the defence
‘Honestly you don’t want to be in a fight with Antonio Rudiger, Kova (Mateo Kovacic) and Azpi (Cesar Azpilicueta),’ he said.
‘For me you don’t want to be in a fight with them, because they are ready to fight and it’s their nature to show it on the pitch and protect the interests of our team.
‘They are there we can rely on them nobody has to do stuff which is against their nature you can totally rely on them.
‘For me when I was a player at a lower level when you have big matches and feel the tension you look around at who is next to you and feel comfortable, see who you can rely on.
Tuchel is delighted to have players on the pitch he can rely on to show the fighting spirit
‘I feel our guys are very comfortable when they look around and see who they can rely on. No one is out there alone, we will help each other, we will help from the bench.
‘We will push hard for the best outcome. We have minimum of 90 minutes to fight for and achieve a big goal.’
Tuchel also received a transfer boost in recent days in their pursuit AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma after the Italian’s talks over a new contract reportedly stalled.
The 22-year-old has already racked up more than 200 Serie A appearances for his boyhood club and looked like he could bag his first-ever league title this season before Milan’s title challenge faded.
Donnarumma’s current deal at the San Siro expires this summer, with player and club far apart when it comes to agreeing personal terms, according to Gazzetta della Sport.
Gianluigi Donnarumma has played more than 200 Serie A matches at the age of just 22
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