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Tuchel mistake could cost Chelsea FA Cup title, says Merson

Thomas Tuchel, Chelsea
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Ahead of the FA Cup final, Paul Merson has explained how a Thomas Tuchel mistake has handed Leicester an advantage.

Thomas Tuchel’s tinkering has put Leicester City in the hot seat for a first FA Cup title in Saturday’s final against Chelsea, says Paul Merson.

The pundit believes Tuchel’s decision to make seven changes to his line-up in the 1-0 defeat to Arsenal on Wednesday could leave Chelsea in a struggle to rediscover their rhythm.

The Blues boss may have accepted ‘responsibility’ for this error, but Merson reckons there may be a bigger price pay than a simple league defeat to Arsenal.

“Thomas Tuchel’s tinkering has put Chelsea’s season on a knife-edge – and it’s advantage Leicester at Wembley,” he wrote in his Daily Star column.

“Chelsea go into the FA Cup final with everything up in the air again after what happened against Arsenal.

“Tuchel made too many changes in that game. He said so himself. And it backfired. I thought it was extraordinary.

“You’ve come this far. Play your best team. The name of the game was to get a top four spot sewn up before the final.

“Instead, he made loads of changes, they lost, and the door is now open again for the teams who are chasing them down.

“They are in a race again now, when that should have been put to bed. The be all and end all for Chelsea is Champions League football.

“But Tuchel has been changing his team week in and week out. How may times has he ever kept the same team?

“I know you have to try and keep people fresh and it’s been a long season but in a big game like that you have to play your best team.

“Chelsea could end up with two trophies and a top four finish this season. Or they could end up with nothing.”