Thomas Tuchel dismisses rivalry with Guardiola

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel says Saturday’s game with champions Manchester City is not about his rivalry with Pep Guardiola.

Tuchel has beaten City boss Guardiola in their past three meetings, including last season’s Champions League final.

League leaders Chelsea host fifth-place City on Saturday.

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But the German would not be drawn on comparisons between the managers.

“I have the highest respect for Pep,” Thomas Tuchel said on Friday.

Asked whether he was a better coach than Guardiola, Tuchel said: “This question does not even exist for me and I can’t answer it.”

“It’s a question for you guys and you can endlessly debate.”

“I am a huge admirer for the impact he had from his first day of his professional coaching – the impact at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester City. He has my biggest respect.”

“There is no reason to ask myself if I am a better coach. I do the best I can, I am in a place I am very happy, and I am a better coach today than yesterday.”

Tuchel said he expected a “50/50” contest at Stamford Bridge.

“If I look at it honestly I see the last three games as three 50/50 matches,” said Thomas Tuchel.

“We want to fight hard to be the guys who have a better outcome.”

“We did it several times with this team and we know how much we suffered also in these matches.”

“If we win tomorrow we will not be crowned as champions, and if City win they will not be champions and we will not be in depression.”

Chelsea are unbeaten in their opening five games but they will be without influential midfielder Mason Mount.

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