Thomas Tuchel warned Chesterfield to prepare to face his multi-million pound strikers as the European champions meet the National League leaders in the FA Cup.
Both sides have been hit by injuries and Covid absentees in recent weeks, and Tuchel admits he will look to rest some first-teamers and involve younger players but is also keen to get Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku back into a rhythm after missing so much action.
‘We want to use the match to get some minutes into the guys who desperately need it and want it, like Timo,’ said Tuchel, as he weighs this tie against three games in seven days against Tottenham, Manchester City and Brighton, starting on Wednesday.
Thomas Tuchel will give minutes to his star forwards in the FA Cup against Chesterfield
Both Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku have had limited game-time in recent weeks
‘Romelu is an option to start again but we need to see. We will find a strong line-up and show all the respect to Chesterfield.’
Tuchel handed debuts to teenagers Harvey Vale, Xavier Simons and Jude Soonsup-Bell in a Carabao Cup quarter-final at Brentford, last month.
‘If we have a cup game in our schedule right now it is a chance for young players to get some minutes, but overall we want to be competitive,’ said the Chelsea boss, whose team were FA Cup runners-up last season.
‘The main objective is not resting players, the main objective is to be competitive and have a chance to win and it will stay like this no matter how complicated the situation is.
‘It is the FA Cup and if we want to go to the next round we have to win this match. We will prepare to win. We can lose any game in football, that’s why the game is so popular. You will never hear me say we cannot lose. This would be hugely arrogant.’