Chelsea face off against Liverpool in Saturday’s FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium.
The Blues recently returned to winning ways with a 3-0 Premier League win over Leeds United, and will be aiming to carry the momentum against Jurgen Klopp’s side.
Chelsea have reached the FA Cup final in the last two seasons, only to lose to Arsenal and Leicester City respectively. They will be desperate to avoid another disappointment.
The club will also be eyeing revenge on Liverpool, having lost to them in the Carabao Cup final earlier this term. The Reds won the penalty shoot-out after a 0-0 draw in regulation time.
Here is how Chelsea could line up against Liverpool in the FA Cup final:
Goalkeeper: Edouard Mendy started the semi-final of the FA Cup against Crystal Palace despite Kepa Arrizabalaga being fit. The latter has been the regular for the Cup competitions, but Tuchel is likely to stick with his number one choice in Mendy. Arrizabalaga could be called upon if the final goes to a penalty shoot-out.
Defence: Thiago Silva was an unused substitute against Leeds in midweek with Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Trevoh Chalobah featuring in Chelsea’s back three. The Brazilian star is expected to return in central defence against Liverpool, and it could be at the expense of Chalobah.
Reece James is an undisputed starter at right wing-back, and continued his fine form at Elland Road with the assist for the opening goal. Tuchel recently had a bust-up with Marcos Alonso, but that did not hamper the Spaniard’s selection at Leeds. Alonso has been Chelsea’s first-choice at left wing-back after Ben Chilwell’s injury, and is expected to start.
Midfield: There could be an enforced change in the centre of the park after Mateo Kovacic’s ankle injury. The Croatian is doubtful for the game. Ruben Loftus-Cheek came off the bench to partner Jorginho, and it could be the same case against Liverpool tomorrow. N’Golo Kante has been nursing an unknown injury and could make the bench at best if fit. The Frenchman has not been in the best of form in recent weeks.
Attack: Mason Mount will be a confirmed starter in attacking midfield, having had another superb outing for Chelsea in midweek with two goal contributions. He has now become the youngest Chelsea player to hit double figures in terms of goals and assists in a Premier League season. Alongside him, Christian Pulisic could keep his place, having netted the second goal in the Leeds win.
Up front, Romelu Lukaku should be rewarded with another start, having bagged three goals in his last two Premier League games. Kai Havertz has been Chelsea’s big-game player, but the Belgian’s physical presence could be preferred by Tuchel amid his recent scoring form. Lukaku nearly made the difference in the Carabao Cup final this year, but his goal was deemed offside by VAR.