Romelu Lukaku is in line to start while Mateo Kovacic and N’Golo Kante could be in contention when Chelsea face Liverpool in the FA Cup final.
Chelsea will be aiming to add another trophy to their cabinet when they lock horns with Liverpool in the finals of the 2021/22 FA Cup at Wembley on Saturday evening.
Heading up to the game, Chelsea have received a double injury boost. N’Golo Kante, who has been unavailable for the past couple of games, is back in training. At the same time, Mateo Kovacic, who picked up an injury in midweek against Leeds, has also returned to training and could be in contention to play a part in the final. Ben Chilwell and Callum Hudson-Odoi remain unavailable.
Providing an update on the midfield duo in his pre-match presser, manager Thomas Tuchel said: “We will try it today actually and see tomorrow, which is pretty surprising news that we are even in this situation, but Mateo wants to try it. The medical department gave us the green light to try it.
“He’s [Kante] also trying and tried yesterday in team training and did more or less everything, hopefully now without a reaction. He is keen to make it and hopefully he makes it to training 100 per cent. It will be crucial for us and it’s the moment to take risks.”
With the pair back in training, Tuchel might decide to start with Kante and Kovacic in the middle of the park against Liverpool. If they are not deemed fit enough, Jorginho and Ruben Loftus-Cheek will be in line to feature from kickoff after putting up strong displays in midweek against Leeds United.
As for the rest of the team, a few changes will be made to the lineup that started against Leeds in midweek. Veteran defender Thiago Silva should return to the fold, replacing Andreas Christensen at the centre of the three-man backline. Cesar Azpilicueta should also come into the starting XI, at the expense of Trevoh Chalobah, with Antonio Rudiger completing the defence that will guard Edouard Mendy.
Reece James is a certainty to feature as the right-sided wing-back, while Marcos Alonso is also a guaranteed starter on the opposite flank in Chilwell’s injury-enforced absence. As iterated earlier, Kante and Kovacic could be the starters in midfield for Chelsea against Liverpool unless they are deemed unfit.
Mason Mount dazzled against Leeds United earlier in the week and is a certain starter for Chelsea. At the same time, Christian Pulisic’s impressive form in the past couple of matches deserves to be rewarded with a starting berth on Saturday versus Liverpool. The duo will line up in the attacking midfield slots. Romelu Lukaku, who has scored three goals in his last two games, spearheads the attack.
Chelsea Predicted XI: Mendy, Azpilicueta, Silva, Rudiger, James, Kante, Kovacic, Alonso, Mount, Pulisic, Lukaku.