Thomas Tuchel has admitted he ‘wasn’t aware’ Chelsea will play in front of a reduced crowd against Arsenal on Wednesday night at Stamford Bridge.
The Chelsea boss told his pre-match press conference that this is ‘bad news’ for his side, but they still ‘shouldn’t lack quality of support’.
Arsenal head to the Bridge on the back of three defeats on the bounce and their hopes of securing Champions League football fading away by the week.
The FA Cup finalist will feel they have their top-four place wrapped up, but defeat against the Gunners might just force them to look over their shoulder.
But when Tuchel was told about the reduced crowd at Stamford Bridge, this was his response.
“That’s not an advantage, of course,” said Tuchel. “We want to play home matches, and in general, we want to play in front of a full stadium.
“That’s bad news actually. I wasn’t aware of it. Maybe somebody told me and I forgot it during these last few days, this is also possible.
“So, let’s turn things around and maybe everybody is aware of that, so everyone pushes a little bit more because we lack quantity, but we shouldn’t lack quality of support.”
Chelsea season-ticket holders, added with the Arsenal away fans, will be allowed into Stamford Bridge tonight.
Whilst it won’t be a packed-out crowd for the London derby, it won’t make too much of a difference.
The home team can afford to drop points because of the position they are in, even though they wouldn’t want to lose to this indifferent Mikel Arteta side.
But if Arsenal suffered another defeat here, then the pressure will seriously be on Arteta and the club’s hopes of securing a top-four finish.