Marcos Alonso

The Lowdown: Thomas Tuchel's Talented Chelsea Outfit

Leicester City travel to Stamford Bridge to tackle a supremely talented Chelsea side in the Premier League on Tuesday just four days after coming out on top, in dramatic fashion, in the final of the Emirates FA Cup.
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While Foxes supporters will be delighted by the Club's first-ever FA Cup success, there are still two significant Premier League fixtures on the horizon. Ahead of Tuesday's clash with the UEFA Champions League finalists in the capital, provides the lowdown on the six-time champions...

The manager

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Thomas Tuchel
Thomas Tuchel

The 47-year-old managed extensively in Germany and France before taking the job at Stamford Bridge earlier this year.

Thomas Tuchel became the new Chelsea manager in January 2021, following the departure of Frank Lampard. The German arrived at Stamford Bridge with a high pedigree, having managed the likes of Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund prior to his first job in England.

As a player, his career as a defender at Stuttgarter Kickers and SSV Ulm was cut short by injury, retiring at the age of 25 before moving into coaching at VfB Stuttgart.

After five years working with the youth teams at the Baden-Württemberg based outfit, Tuchel took his first step on the managerial ladder at FC Augsburg II, the club's reserve team. After a one-and-a-half year spell, finishing runners-up in the Schwaben Cup, he was quickly snapped up by newly-promoted Bundesliga side Mainz 05.

There he enjoyed his longest managerial spell, spending five seasons with the club, transforming them into a solid team with exciting young talent, finishing ninth in their first campaign back in the top flight before a fifth-placed finish in 2010/11 to qualify for the UEFA Europa League.

He took over at Borussia Dortmund in 2015, winning the DFB-Pokal in 2017, beating Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 to secure the club's first trophy in five years, having lost the final on penalties to Bayern Munich the season prior.

In the Bundesliga, Dortmund secured their second-highest ever points tally of 78 in 2015/16, but it was not enough to overhaul Bayern and win the title. 

Departing later that year, he soon arrived at PSG, lifting the league title in successive seasons, including a domestic quadruple in the 2019/20 campaign and subsequently guided the Parisian giants to their first-ever UEFA Champions League Final, losing to Bayern Munich.

Tuchel boasts a 63 per cent win percentage since joining Chelsea and has transformed the London club into serious top four contenders in recent months, picking up the Premier League Manager of the Month award for March.

The team

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Reece James
Reece James

Versatile defender Reece James is one of several young English talents within Chelsea's star-studded first team squad.

Chelsea have many experienced operators, including Thiago Silva, Marcos Alonso and César Azpilicueta, while the likes of youngsters Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Reece James have also progressed well. In the Blues squad, Foxes supporters will recognise two figures - Ben Chilwell and N'Golo Kanté - the latter part of the midfield which won the title with City in 2016.

The pre-signings of RB Leipzig's Timo Werner and Ajax's Hakim Ziyech were followed in the summer by Silva, Chilwell, Édouard Mendy and Kai Havertz, as the west London club strengthened heavily to create a youthful side full of exceptional potential.

Álvaro Morata (Atlético Madrid), Willian (Arsenal) and Pedro (AS Roma) were among the most high-profile departures from Stamford Bridge during a transitional summer transfer window.

Werner and Tammy Abraham share the title as Chelsea's top goalscorers so far this season with 12 efforts apiece in all competitions, one more than experienced French frontman Olivier Giroud.

Young Germany striker Werner has also contributed 11 assists, four more than Mount and Chilwell, and has also featured more times than any other Chelsea player this term (48).

Senegal international shot-stopper Mendy, on the other hand, has become the capital club's first-choice goalkeeper after signing from Rennes for a reported £21.6M in the summer, keeping 16 clean sheets in the Premier League - only Manchester City's Ederson has kept more (18).

Form guide

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Marcos Alonso
Marcos Alonso

Marcos Alonso's injury-time winner earned Chelsea three Premier League points at Etihad Stadium.

Prior to successive defeats by Arsenal and Leicester City, Chelsea had enjoyed a run of seven games unbeaten in all competitions, including five victories.

One of those was the Emirates FA Cup Semi-Final win over Manchester City at Wembley, which booked the club's place in the final. Hakim Ziyech scored the only goal of the game, before the Moroccan scored at Etihad Stadium to help seal a 2-1 league triumph over the Citizens on 8 May.

Chelsea are currently fourth in the Premier League table, just two points adrift of the Foxes with two games to play in the campaign. The London outfit have also reached the UEFA Champions League Final, where they will face Pep Guardiola's City once more.

Beating Real Madrid in a two-legged semi-final battle, Timo Werner and Mason Mount added their names to the scoresheet in the reverse leg at Stamford Bridge, following a 1-1 draw in Spain during which Christian Pulisic netted the Blues' goal. 

Previous encounters

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Youri Tielemans
Youri Tielemans

The man who won the FA Cup for Leicester City celebrates his excellent strike at Wembley.

Before Saturday's magnificent FA Cup Final triumph, secured by Youri Tielemans' second-half stunner, Leicester also came out on top in the previous Premier League meeting between the two, winning 2-0 at King Power Stadium in January.

Wilfred Ndidi and James Maddison grabbed the goals either side of half-time to defeat Frank Lampard's side on Filbert Way. Last June's 1-0 Emirates FA Cup Quarter-Final defeat by Chelsea at King Power Stadium, meanwhile, was City's first reverse in four games against the capital club.

A 1-0 triumph, courtesy of Jamie Vardy's strike in December 2018, was followed by three consecutive draws for the Foxes; 0-0 in May 2019, 1-1 in August 2019 and 2-2 in February 2020.

Chelsea have the upper hand in the head-to-head record, tasting victory on 57 occasions, compared to Leicester's 28 wins, while 34 encounters between the two sides have ended in stalemate.

The trophy cabinet 

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Chelsea 2007
Chelsea 2007

Chelsea won the first FA Cup Final to be held at the new Wembley Stadium in 2007, beating Manchester United.

Chelsea enjoyed success during their early seasons, lifting eight trophies before the millennium, but it was the arrival of owner Roman Abramovich which inspired their post-2003 achievements.

Across their entire 114-year history, the Blues have won the English title on six occasions - in 1955, 2005, 2006, 2010, 2015 and 2017 - alongside eight FA Cup triumphs and five League Cup successes. 

An indicator of Chelsea's regular presence at the top table of English football comes with the fact that they have just two Second Division titles to their name, in 1984 and 1989.

Meanwhile, in the 21st century, Chelsea have lifted 17 trophies, including the UEFA Champions League in 2012, where they beat Bayern Munich at Allianz Arena, the German club's own stadium.

They've also won the Europa League on two occasions and have secured two UEFA Cup Winners' Cups and one UEFA Super Cup. Four Community Shields complete the impressive list.

The stadium

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Stamford Bridge
Stamford Bridge

The iconic home of Chelsea Football Club, Stamford Bridge.

Stamford Bridge has been Chelsea's permanent home venue since the club's foundation in 1905, although it had in fact been used by other local sports clubs since 1877.

It has staged England internationals, FA Cup finals and semi-finals and Community Shield fixtures, as well as hosting cricket, rugby union, speedway, greyhound racing, baseball and American football.

With just over 40,000 seats, Stamford Bridge is the ninth-largest stadium in the Premier League and plans to expand the ground to a capacity closer to 60,000 are in discussion. 

The stadium's largest attendance, meanwhile, was in 82,905, for a match between Chelsea and Arsenal on 12 October, 1935, before Stamford Bridge was modernised in the 1990s into an all-seater venue.

Upcoming fixtures

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Christian Pulisic
Christian Pulisic

American midfielder Christian Pulisic has enjoyed a successful second season at the club, recording six goals and three assists.

Chelsea conclude the top flight season by travelling to face Aston Villa on Sunday (4pm kick-off). The UEFA Champions League Final with Manchester City is set for Saturday 29 May (8pm kick-off).

All times BST.

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