Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel has played down the possibility of a rivalry between himself and his counterpart at Tottenham Hotspur, Jose Mourinho.
The German boss goes into his first London derby against the north London side with former Blues boss Mourinho at the helm.
The rivalry, rich with drama and controversy, is one many will be looking forward to watching but Tuchel has no interest in adding to that rivalry with a personal one too – especially with one he has admired for so long.
He said: “It’s Tottenham against Chelsea, not me against Jose. I am very happy to compete with a strong team against his side, with a squad with our quality, mentality and the atmosphere we’re in right now.
“Was he a role model? Honestly, when I started my career he was so far away, like the moon from the earth. I was coaching in an academy and was then promoted, from there on I just enjoyed every day.
“I have no doubts he is one of the best managers in the world and has created a squad at Tottenham that is always competitive, very strong. That is the challenge”.
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Tottenham have lost two of their last three home league games against Chelsea. They haven’t lost consecutive home league games against the Blues since a run of three between April 2004-August 2005. Mourinho was Chelsea manager in two of those games.
Chelsea are unbeaten in their last four Premier League meetings against Spurs (won three, drawn one), keeping a clean sheet in three of them.
However, Chelsea have lost four of their last five away league games, as many as they had in their previous 16 on the road.
When and where?
The match will take place at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Thursday (February 4)
What time is…