Jack Grealish: Thomas Tuchel says Chelsea must control Aston Villa midfielder on Premier League final day

Thomas Tuchel says Jack Grealish will be hard to control as Chelsea face Aston Villa on the Premier League’s final day, and believes Villa are a “different team” with him in the lineup.

In Sunday’s final game of the season, Chelsea are the visitors, knowing a victory will secure their place in next year’s Champions League.

11th-place Villa stand in the way of Tuchel’s side, and a draw or loss could see Liverpool and Leicester – both one point behind the Blues – pip them at the final hurdle.

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The home side have been boosted by the return of standout midfielder Jack Grealish, who suffered a shin injury in February after producing six goals and 12 assists in Villa’s first 22 games of the season.

Aston Villa

His absence has been notable. Dean Smith’s side managed 11 wins before the injury, but had just three wins in 14 games before Grealish returned to the starting lineup in the 2-1 victory over Spurs on Wednesday.


With the 25-year-old expected to face Chelsea on Sunday, Tuchel said: “Look at the statistics! Aston Villa with and without him are different teams.

“He is involved in almost every offensive situation. He is very good at decision-making.

“He has a lot of composure in assisting, finishing and bringing people around him in top situations, dangerous situations to be able to score.

“He is a top player and [there is] a lot to take care of and be aware of to control him on Sunday. What he does in the future is in his hands.”

‘England have bright future and talented youngsters’

Tuchel arrived at Chelsea in January and called his experience of English football “everything that I expected it to be and even more.”

The former Paris Saint-Germain coach, who previously managed Borussia Dortmund, admitted he has been impressed with what he has seen from English players, despite the perception English football is more ‘physical’ and not as glamorous as in other countries.

“I hope that England never tries to play like Spain or Brazil,” he said. “Brazil plays like Brazil, Argentina like Argentina and Spain like Spain. This is the beauty of it.

“It’s like in club football. That’s what we love about European competitions – that it is a clash of styles, a clash of cultures.

“You have so many talented young players, you have so many experienced personalities, and you have an English squad full of experience of a tight schedule and a super tough league.

“I’m very sure [England manager Gareth Southgate] is absolutely delighted with the selection he can choose from.

“You have a very strong side and a bright future because you have a lot of young players and you have the league that brings out the very best in you.”

PL final day: Race for top-four finish live on Sky

The race for a top-four finish in the Premier League will go to the wire, with seven games live on Sky Sports on the final day of the season.

Chelsea climbed up to third and dented Leicester’s prospects of Champions League football with a 2-1 victory at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday, and Liverpool took advantage on Wednesday, leapfrogging the Foxes with a 3-0 win over Burnley to take control of their fate.

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Just one point and goal difference separate three sides heading into Sunday’s finale – and you can follow all the drama with Sky Sports.

Liverpool vs Crystal Palace, Leicester vs Tottenham and Aston Villa vs Chelsea will all be live on Sky Sports channels as the season reaches its climax and the Sky Sports cameras will also be at the Etihad to see champions Manchester City lift the trophy after taking on Everton.

All games kick off at 4pm on Sunday May 23:

Man City vs Everton – live on Sky Sports Premier League from 3pm

Liverpool vs Crystal Palace – live on Sky Sports Main Event from 3.50pm

Leicester vs Tottenham – live on Sky Sports Football from 3.50pm

Aston Villa vs Chelsea – live on Sky Sports Action from 3.50pm

West Ham vs Southampton – live on Sky One from 3pm

Arsenal vs Brighton – live on Sky Sports Arena from 3.50pm

Fulham vs Newcastle – live on Sky Sports Mix from 3.50pm

– All games will be available on the Red Button on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event.

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