Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has seemingly been forced to re-evaluate the value of the FA Cup to his side as the Blues prepare for their Wembley semi-final clash.
The west London club will take on local rivals Crystal Palace under the arch as they attempt to reach a third consecutive final in the competition.
Whilst Tuchel has been a pivotal figure behind the Blues’ charges towards the Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup, the FA Cup eluded him last season.
The Blues found themselves on the wrong end of a 1-0 reverse at the hands of Leicester City last term. Following the defeat, Tuchel signalled his disappointment but did suggest that the Blues were not prioritising the FA Cup in context of their season.
He said: ‘Do we want to play Champions League next season? Yes, this is the target when I stepped into this club. I want to be very clear – the task was: ‘Let’s try everything to be in the top four.’
The task was not: ‘Let’s try everything to win the FA Cup’ because the FA Cup, as big as it is, does not bring you to Champions League football next season. It’s top four that brings us that.’
Tuchel is likely to have had a change of heart this time around, with the FA Cup representing what would be a hugely successful end to the season for the Blues. They are already out of the Champions League this time around having suffered a heart-breaking defeat at the hands of Spanish giants Real Madrid on Tuesday night.
Meanwhile, Chelsea are more comfortable in the knowledge that they will be returning to the top table of European football next term. The west Londoners are currently sitting third in the Premier League standings and eight points clear of fifth-placed Arsenal.
So, with Chelsea not having much more to play for for the majority of the campaign, then it appears that Tuchel will certainly have to change his outlook on how much importance he places on winning the FA Cup.
If the Blues defeat Palace at Wembley Stadium on Saturday, they will face either Manchester City or Liverpool in the final stage of the competitions.
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