Poch admits ‘it’s impossible’ for Chelsea to ‘be an underdog’; jokingly calls returning Blues star ‘a liar’

Lewis Oldham
Chelsea boss Pochettino
Chelsea head coach Mauricio Pochettino.

Mauricio Pochettino has admitted that “it’s impossible” for Chelsea to feel like “an underdog” ahead of this weekend’s clash against Manchester City.

Chelsea have won seven points from losing positions already this term but they endured a difficult start to the season. They earned a statement 4-1 win on Monday night against Tottenham Hotspur, who finished the game with nine men.

It does not get any easier for the Blues this weekend as they host Premier League table-toppers Man City at Stamford Bridge.

Pep Guardiola’s side are without Kevin De Bruyne and John Stones for this huge game and Chelsea will back themselves to cause City problems with Cole Palmer among their in-form talents.

Pochettino admitted on Friday that Chelsea “never have that feeling of being an underdog”.

“For me, they are the best team, have the best coaching staff and the best coach/manager. We need to tell the truth – it is one of the best organisations in the world,” Pochettino told reporters.

“We need to give credit to Manchester City, from the top to the bottom, they are doing it all really well. It is going to be a challenge and we want to compete. We know it is going to be tough. But we are going to try to compete at our best and our goal is to win the three points.

“Chelsea never have that feeling of being an underdog. The feeling is always ‘you are Chelsea’. It is impossible, the history is there.

“But Monday [against Tottenham] showed we have talent and character to compete and to fight with the best clubs in England.”

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On Cole Palmer, he added: “He is a really clever guy that has had to adapt quickly. We are building the team at the minute and he showed character and personality to take the move.

“We are so happy with him but I think he will improve. It is a special chance for him to play his former team-mates.”

Summer signing Christopher Nkunku is due to return to action soon and Pochettino jokingly called him a “liar” when he asked for an update about the forward’s recovery.

“We had a conversation and he said to me ‘I want to be ready for after the international break’,” Pochettino said.

“I said to him yesterday ‘you are a liar’, but he is doing really well and we are very happy with how he is doing with his recovery. He is very professional.

“Hopefully next week he can be back involved with the team [in training] and then day by day see how it goes from there.”

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