Thomas Tuchel believes Chelsea can overcome a lack of Champions League semi-final experience by playing with hunger and enthusiasm when they go up against Real Madrid.
The Blues have made it through to the last four of Europe’s premier club competition for the first time since 2013-2014, a season that finished with Madrid winning the trophy in Lisbon.
Los Blancos also won the competition for three successive seasons during Zinedine Zidane’s first spell in charge, with many of the key players involved in that impressive hat-trick still at the club now.
However, Tuchel feels his Chelsea squad are in “a good moment” heading into Tuesday’s first leg in the Spanish capital.
“Every match I feel that we are able to play on a very high level,” Tuchel, who confirmed Mateo Kovacic will miss the game in Madrid through injury, told the media.
“If it’s not possible to play our nicest match, we are always able to not let the opponents play their best match – which is also a definition of performance.
“We have a strong bond; I feel a strong bond within the squad. I feel us very involved physically in the games, ready to work together, to suffer together and, when it’s needed, to respond to the questions. If it’s necessary to fight, then fight; if it’s necessary to run, then run.
“We should not expect crazy things from us, but the same again on the highest level.
“The good thing is we have had the experiences together, tough matches, tight matches, very important matches in the Premier League and the FA Cup, so we feel it’s a good moment to play this match.
“We want to play hungry; we want to play adventurous. Maybe, considering a lack of experience in semi-finals, to compensate with hunger and enthusiasm.”
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