Thomas Tuchel says he understands why Pep Guardiola believes “everybody in this country supports Liverpool”.
“Everyone in this country supports Liverpool, the media and everyone,” Guardiola said.
“Of course, because Liverpool have an incredible history in Europe, not in the Premier League, because they’ve only won one in 30 years, but it’s not a problem.”
Chelsea manager Tuchel is now on Guardiola’s side as he prepares to face Liverpool in the FA Cup final at Wembley on Saturday.
“I’m not a Liverpool fan,” Tuchel said.
“I can understand why he [Guardiola] have that feeling. In general, I’d say it’s hard to really argue with that.
“I haven’t said I agree 100 percent, but I can see it. There is huge sympathy for Liverpool in the country.”
Tuchel says Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, whom he calls “Kloppo” ahead of the final, is an expert at winning “sympathy” from neutral fans.
And the Chelsea manager insists he doesn’t care if his team is seen as “the bad guys” at Wembley.
“Kloppo is a master at being the underdog,” added Tuchel.
“He can convince him to be the underdog against Villarreal and against Benfica, and it’s a miracle how they draw against them.
“He does it all the time. That’s part of where the sympathy comes from. There’s nothing to be jealous of; Kloppo is a fantastic, funny guy, one of the best coaches in the world and that’s what he does.
“When he trained [Borussia] Dortmund, the whole country loved Dortmund. Now he coaches Liverpool and you get the feeling that the whole country loves Liverpool.
“It’s a big credit to him and that’s what you deal with if you play on a team against him. But it’s always the fun part and so if we’re the bad guys tomorrow, no problem.
“We’ve taken on that role. We don’t want to have the country’s sympathy tomorrow – we want to have the trophy.”
Tuchel is hopeful of coming out as the winner this time around and believes that Klopp’s side has vulnerabilities that can be exploited.
“They allow chances,” he said.
“We proved that – we had great chances in the Carabao Cup final. But it’s their approach. They are the team that most put forwards from other teams offside.
“They only play in this high line because they always have pressure on the ball. It’s very difficult to explore those spaces because you need perfect timing.
“But you can find solutions if you have a perfect day.”