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Chelsea’s fringe players have an opportunity to impress Thomas Tuchel when Blues face Barnsley

Chelsea will face Barnsley in the FA Cup.
Chelsea will face Barnsley in the FA Cup.
ANALYST
Modified 11 Feb 2021
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Thomas Tuchel will take charge of his first cup game as Chelsea manager when the Blues take on Barnsley in the FA Cup on Thursday evening.

The German manager made a bright start to life in London, with Chelsea yet to lose under him. He has so far led the Blues to three wins and a draw in his first four games in charge. Those four games haven’t been perfect, but the signs are promising. The team now plays with more desire and energy, and generally looks more threatening in attack.

It remains to be seen what sort of team Tuchel will pick for the FA Cup game against Barnsley. Chelsea should be able to get the job done and secure passage into the next round irrespective of the number of changes made to the squad.

It is time for fringe players at Chelsea to make a point

Tuchel has often changed his starting line-up since his appointment, as he gradually gets used to his players. He hasn’t used the same starting XI in all four games that he has overseen so far.

That could mean there is a chance for every player at Stamford Bridge to stake a claim for a starting spot. The likes of Marcos Alonso, Jorginho and Antonio Rudiger have played themselves back into contention despite getting very little game time under Frank Lampard.

Thankfully, Tuchel has confirmed that he will rotate in the Barnsley game and the fringe players must take advantage of this.

“There’s a high possibility that we will see a lot of changes,” the Chelsea boss said, as quoted by Chelseafc.com. "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."
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“Everybody deserves to be on the pitch and there are some players who have suffered from some of my decisions. It’s a moment for us to have fresh legs and fresh minds on the pitch," Tuchel added.

Tuchel has presented a clean slate for every player in the squad. Now, it is up to the individual players to prove they deserve to play more, especially those he has sparingly used in his four games in charge.

Tuchel’s most realistic chance of winning a trophy

The season has crossed the halfway point and Chelsea are out of some competitions. The Blues have been eliminated from the Carabao Cup while the Premier League is almost out of reach.

However, there is still the UEFA Champions League and the FA Cup to play for. Among the two competitions, though, Chelsea have a more realistic chance of winning the FA Cup.

Tuchel arrived at a time when the Blues were on a poor run and has already gotten them closer to the top four places. It will be a great achievement if he can finish in the top four this season and also win the FA Cup.

Published 11 Feb 2021, 18:46 IST
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