Football News

Chelsea predicted XI v Liverpool: Tuchel delivers “brilliant” League Cup final team news

By Ben Green

Published: 15:57, 25 February 2022

Wembley braces itself for the League Cup final between Chelsea and Liverpool on Sunday at 4.30pm (UK time).

Thomas Tuchel will be keen to exact revenge from his FA Cup final defeat to Leicester City last season by adding another domestic cup to Chelsea’s glittering trophy cabinet. The German coach is yet to lose to Jurgen Klopp as manager of the Blues, going unbeaten in all three games he has faced the Liverpool boss.

A win here for Chelsea would move them ahead of Aston Villa and Manchester United to become the competition’s undisputed third-most succesful club, so far sitting level with those two on five trophy lifts. Can they make it six and move just two below current joint-leaders Liverpool and Manchester City?

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Chelsea team news vs Liverpool: Ziyech and Kovacic avoid injury scare

Hakim Ziyech and Mateo Kovacic hobbled off in the second half of Chelsea’s Champions League win over Lille in midweek, but Tuchel confirmed in his Friday afternoon press conference that both players have trained ahead of the cup final, alongside Mason Mount, Reece James and Callum Hudson-Odoi, with Ben Chilwell now the club’s only major absentee.

“It’s brilliant news,” said Tuchel.

“Everybody joined team training from the first to the last minute. We have had at the moment no reactions, just positive reactions, and I hope it stays like this and we have everyone available for Sunday after our last training tomorrow.”

Tuchel, when pressed on whether James would make the pitch on Sunday — having yet to feature in 2022 with a hamstring injury — suggested he may be inclined to make a “crazy” tactical decision, opening the door on a return to the first team for the England international.

He continued: “It’s a very good question. Even if I wanted to, I’m not sure I could answer your question right now. He looked brilliant in the last two training sessions. Let’s wait another session, and see if I’m crazy enough to put him on the pitch, or if the reasonable side of me wins and we go step by step.

“It would be a huge step, but honestly yesterday and today he looked so strong and confident and involved in training, you are tempted to do it. Let’s see. The most important thing for him and us is that he’s back and he feels so confident he can step up to this level.”

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Predicted Chelsea XI vs Liverpool:

  • Kepa; Azpilicueta, Silva, Rudiger; James, Jorginho, Kante, Alonso; Mount, Pulisic; Havertz. (3-5-2)



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