Thomas Tuchel remains unbeaten as Chelsea boss with three wins and a draw in the four games that have catapulted Chelsea from 10th to 5th in the table within a couple of weeks. He has the chance to extend this unbeaten streak when Chelsea face Barnsley in the FA Cup 5th round tomorrow night at Oakwell.
Chelsea performed a demolition job on Barnsley earlier in the season when we eliminated them from the Carabao Cup courtesy a hat-trick from Kai Havertz. Tuchel will be hoping for a similar performance and result.
We will have to do so without Thiago Silva, who might not have played either way, but who is some ways from making a matchday squad still.
"Thiago is out for tomorrow for sure. 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."
Tuchel's mid-season arrival has resulted in several changes in the team, from formation to personnel to tactics. The likes of Kurt Zouma, Hakim Ziyech and Ben Chilwell have seen their involvement reduce drastically in Tuchel’s 3-4-3, while N’Golo Kanté has only made a couple of substitute appearances having just recovered from injury.
This game comes at a perfect time to provide those players and others on the fringes with some game time, and Tuchel has already confirmed starts Kanté and Ziyech in fact.
"There’s a high possibility that we will see a lot of changes. 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"
While the ship has sailed with regards to winning the Premier League this season, Chelsea are still firmly in a position to go far and hopefully win the FA Cup to finish this season with a silverware.
Barnsley may be in the second division but we’ll still need complete focus.
"We play every competition to win. 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."
- Thomas Tuchel; source: Chelsea FC
Let's get the win!