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Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel makes Pep Guardiola and Man City admission ahead of FA Cup semi-final clash

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Thomas Tuchel says Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has been a ‘huge influence’ on his managerial career ahead of Chelsea’s FA Cup semi-final tie on Saturday evening at Wembley.

The two sides meet in the English capital looking to progress into the final. Chelsea will be hoping for their first piece of silverware under Tuchel, while City will be hoping to keep their quadruple hopes alive.

Ahead of the semi-final Tuchel, who has never beaten Guardiola as a manager, was full of praise for his managerial counterpart and lauded his philosophy.

On his influence, Tuchel said: “Huge influence because when he was coach of Barcelona, I was watching almost every game. I was very impressed by the way they made success happen with the style they were playing: the academy guys, offensive football, ball possession.

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“The most impressive thing about the team was the mentality of how they defended when they lost the ball. I learned a lot from watching the games and understanding more of the game; how adventurous and brave you can approach games.

“So it was a big, big lesson. At this time I was a coach at the academy and then became a coach at Mainz. Almost every game was a lesson in these days and then later we had the opportunity to play against him. It wasn’t always a pleasure but then you arrive at a certain level and it was a pleasure to meet him and play against him at the highest level.”

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Tuchel will be hoping to land his first win over Guardiola on Saturday at Wembley, but is expecting a cup tie of high intensity.

He added: “I don’t feel that both teams are like chess teams. I think English football, City’s game, our game is about intensity without the ball. So I expect a very high-intensity, demanding match.

“City define themselves with a clear DNA and style. They want the ball, high possession, high ball recoveries. We want that too so we have to fight for these moments and make them suffer.

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“We have to be on point and have precision with our passing and position if we want to hurt them. Then we need to be on them every minute, that we do not allow easy chances and exploitation of spaces between our lines.

“We need to be very brave, play with courage, be adventurous and do what’s needed. It’s a big challenge and it’s the right moment for us to face a challenge like this. I expect a tough challenge a physical game. I hope we catch the moments where we can make them suffer so it becomes an even game.”

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