Just three days after suffering the heartbreak of losing the FA Cup final to Leicester, Chelsea have a rare opportunity for instant karma.
The Blues host the Foxes at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night in what is set to be a crucial game for both clubs in their respective aspirations of a top-four finish.
A win in a league game will not erase the pain of losing the FA Cup trophy by a lone goal, but the prospect of securing a Champions League spot while also simultaneously knocking Leicester City out of contention could offer Chelsea some gratification.
This game is a must-win for Chelsea (so was the final to be fair) as they sit 4th on the log, just a point ahead of Liverpool in 5th with full knowledge that a win takes them up to 3rd and their opponents to 4th.
As it stands, Thomas Tuchel’s men still have their destiny in their hands, win the last two games of the season (Leicester at home, Aston Villa away) and top four is guaranteed regardless of what happens elsewhere.
However, Saturday taught us that Chelsea are prone to cracking under pressure. The ability and quality are there but the mentality required to be a top team still hasn’t been fully instilled into the team.
Coming into a game they absolutely have to win against a Leicester team that would be happy with a draw, it’s more than likely that Chelsea endures a frustrating night for the 3rd consecutive match.
Chelsea’s last two games ended in 1-0 defeats to Arsenal and Leicester City. In both games, they dominated proceedings and were the better side as many expected but they still somehow failed to get a favourable result.
The poor results in their last two games are not just down to the players only, the manager is culpable as well. Thomas Tuchel has been known to “choke” when the occasion is grandest.
With his selections and nervous energy, he played a huge role in the team dropping consecutive big games and he simply cannot afford to do it again, not against Leicester or Manchester City.
The statement, “treat every game like a cup final” has a positive and motivational undertone, unless the manager involved is Thomas Tuchel, whose cup final record isn’t the best.
The German is fast building a reputation as the guy that performs well with his teams until it matters the most and then he cracks under the pressure of the occasion.
He now has two games to change that school of thought, first Leicester and then the UEFA Champions League final against Manchester City on the 29th of May.
As for Leicester tonight, you can expect Brendan Rodgers to set his team up in a compact manner, similar to what we saw in the last fifteen minutes on Saturday.
Most likely three at the back, five defenders in total but with Kelechi Iheanacho and Jamie Vardy in their sprint shoes looking to capitalise on any potential counterattack opportunities.
If Tuchel doesn’t panic and starts his strongest available side, Chelsea are still favourites to win this, they just need to put the last 2 results behind them and play with the confidence we saw against Real Madrid.