Thomas Tuchel has confirmed that both N’Golo Kante and Hakim Ziyech will start today’s FA Cup tie at Barnsley, although Thiago Silva remains sidelined through injury.
German head coach confirmed that he will be selecting a strong side at Oakwell, including Kante and Ziyech, although changes will be made in order to keep the rest of the squad fresh following a busy recently period.
‘There’s a high possibility that we will see a lot of changes,’ Tuchel confirmed at his pre-match press conference.
‘This is the third away game in a row for us, so we don’t want to lose awareness or attention to detail and I think this is a good chance for some changes.
‘Everybody deserves to be on the pitch and there are some players who have suffered from some of my decisions. It’s a moment tomorrow for us to have fresh legs and fresh minds on the pitch.
‘N’Golo will start tomorrow and I am so happy to have him back again. We put him on the pitch against Tottenham and he helped everybody on the pitch, which is what he does.
‘Hakim is another one who hopefully tomorrow we will see the best of him. We count on Hakim to do something different, no doubt about that. He has lots of quality and we count on him like everyone else, no doubt about that.
‘He has had a good training week and tomorrow he will have the chance to show the same quality and determination he shows in training.
One player who will miss the trip to Oakwell tomorrow however is Thiago Silva, although Tuchel did have a positive update on the Brazilian’s injury.
‘Thiago is out for tomorrow (today) for sure,’ said Thomas.
‘He feels better and better though, which is good and he’s getting the right treatment. One thing we can be sure of with Thiago though is that he will be spending every minute available to him to speed up the process of healing. It is a muscle injury though so we cannot force it and we will wait for Thiago.’
This is Tuchel’s first taste of the FA Cup and the German says he fully understands this competition and what it means to Chelsea.
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‘We play every competition to win,’ explained the German. ‘Every round in a cup competition is the most important round.
‘It’s an elimination game so we have to be totally focused and on point tomorrow when the match starts.’