Thomas Tuchel makes Leeds United quip as Chelsea boss reveals who Whites remind him of

Thomas Tuchel knows his Chelsea side are in for an intense afternoon against Leeds United at Stamford Bridge.
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The Whites have made a name for themselves as one of the most energetic teams in the Premier League under head coach Marcelo Bielsa over the past 18 months.

Leeds impressed with their style of play last term, hauling themselves to a ninth-place finish though they have struggled to piece together the same regular results in the club's second top flight campaign.

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Bielsa sees his side sit six points above the relegation zone after avoiding defeat in their last three outings ahead of what is a tough festive period.

Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel. Pic: GettyChelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel. Pic: Getty
Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel. Pic: Getty

United begin their Christmas run with a visit to the capital before games against Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool ahead of the hosting of Aston Villa at Elland Road.

Tuchel, though, is expecting Leeds to bring the heat to his squad with the hosts looking to get their title charge back on track.

"It will not stop until you're in the shower," Tuchel smiled, when asked about what he expects from facing Leeds on Saturday afternoon.

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"We need to be ready for that from the first to the last minute. I expected intensity, runs, man-marking in the opponent's half, a very unique approach to football and to play against.

"It reminds me a bit of Atalanta [in Italy], very unique. We need to be strong individually and we need to have very strong connections of two or three players, this is how we can impose our quality and this is what you need to do against Leeds."

Chelsea head into the game two points from top spot following defeat at London rivals West Ham last weekend. The Blues were also held to a 3-3 Champions League draw by Zenit St Petersburg in midweek.

Tuchel does admit it has been a run that has caused some concern despite making a number of changes in Russia.

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"Let's be honest. If you have the lead four times in two matches, and you escape with one point and six goals conceded, it is not the moment to look away and pretend that nothing is happening," he added.

"It is a matter of details and small things. There are reasons for it. We played in Zenit without any centre midfielders who are used to playing there, a bit the same with Watford.

"You find a lot of arguments why it is like this. We are not happy. The performances are not horrible. They are, in some moments, average, and average looks kind of horrible when you play for Chelsea. It's good that it feels like this because we try to be on the highest level and compete, so we should not be surprised.

"I have the feeling like we drop from good performances to average performances when we lead. It is unusual for us and cannot become common. We learn now, hopefully, from experience and have the chance to prove it."

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Chelsea have been boosted by the availability of Jorginho for the visit of Leeds this weekend. Ruben Loftus-Cheek is also back after he was a late absentee after pulling out during the warm-up at Zenit.

Key man N'Golo Kante (thigh) remains out alongside Trevoh Chalobah (hamstring) while long-term absentee Ben Chilwell (knee) is missing.

Goalkeeper Edouard Mendy is set to return in net despite Kepa Arrizabalaga's impressive performance in midweek though Mateo Kovacic is isolating after returning a positive Covid-19 test.

Leeds themselves have four players absent through injury alongside long-term concern Robin Koch who is ill.

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England international Kalvin Phillips is set to be out for an extended period alongside club captain Liam Cooper with the pairing picking up hamstring injuries.

Patrick Bamford is also missing due to a hamstring problem while Rodrigo has a heel issue which requires rest.