Thomas Tuchel admits Chelsea players are 'drained' ahead of Premier League match at Leeds

Blues take on struggling Yorkshiremen on Wednesday then Liverpool in the FA Cup final three days later

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Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has admitted that his players are “drained” after a challenging season for the Premier League club.

The Blues take on take on Leeds United on Wednesday, followed by Liverpool in the FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium three days later – having lost to Jurgen Klopp's team on penalties in the League Cup final in February.

Tuchel also saw his team lose their Champions League crown after an extra-time defeat to Real Madrid in the quarter-finals, when they fought back from losing the first leg 3-1 only to go out 5-4 on aggregate.

Chelsea currently sit third in the Premier League but are only one point ahead of Arsenal after managing just one win in their past five games, the last of which saw them throw away a two-goal lead against Wolves.

There is also the continuing uncertainty regarding Roman Abramovich's proposed sale of the club, which came as a result of UK government sanctions following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, for the players to deal with.

Chelsea's prospective new owner Todd Boehly was in the stands at Stamford Bridge on Saturday but Tuchel revealed that he has yet to meet or speak with him.

“We look a bit drained, tired mentally. You look at our games and it's understandable,” said Tuchel, ahead of the match against struggling Leeds at Elland Road.

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“We had some big knockout games after the international break, with a huge emotional impact – losing to Real Madrid, beating Real Madrid but still being out of the Champions League.

“It's another reason and everybody knows it. Still, even being tired and distracted, we need to reach a certain level and we can do better than in the last two matches.

“The motivation was very high to turn things around against Wolves. It was maybe almost too high as we attacked with defenders and opened spaces for counter-attacks.

“So there are good signs and we still trust the team, our players, and trust what brought us here. Now is the time to stay calm and take it step by step to finish the season on a positive note.”

Tuchel cancelled the players' day off on Sunday following the 2-2 draw with Wolves. “We came in on Sunday, we'd planned a free day but after the disappointment it was not even to punish them,” he said. “It was normally a free day, and of course maybe some felt it was a punishment but it wasn't.”

Updated: May 10, 2022, 7:04 PM