Confirmed Chelsea side vs Liverpool: Mendy and Havertz start, James and Lukaku on the bench



Thomas Tuchel has named Edouard Mendy in his Chelsea side for this afternoon’s Carabao Cup final against Liverpool, but club-record signing Romelu Lukaku is only on the substitutes’ bench.

The Blues – amid the backdrop of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and owner Roman Abramovich handing over the running and decision-making powers at the club to its charitable foundation – are hoping to win their third trophy of the season at Wembley this afternoon.

Tuchel faced several big selection choices and has been bold with his decisions. Mendy’s start is his first in the Carabao Cup this season and comes at the expense of Kepa Arrizabalaga, who has been between the post for the Blues in every previous round.

Andreas Christensen misses the game with a minor Achilles injury and Trevoh Chalobah comes into the starting XI as a result. It is another landmark moment for the defender, who was originally meant to leave Chelsea on loan last summer.

The Blues’ defensive leader, Thiago Silva, occupies his usual spot in the middle of the back three and Antonio Rudiger is on the left and will almost certainly be tasked with keeping Mohamed Salah quiet.

As will Marcos Alonso, who starts at left wing-back. On the opposite flank is Cesar Azpilicueta as Tuchel has resisted the urge to throw Reece James back into his side after the defender’s return from a hamstring injury.

N’Golo Kante unsurprisingly starts in central midfield and is partnered by Mateo Kovacic. Jorginho, as was the case on Tuesday evening against Lille, is on the substitutes’ bench.

Mason Mount is back in the starting XI on the right of the attack at the expense of Hakim Ziyech.

Christian Pulisic is on the left of the front three and will be looking to add another Wembley goal to his collection.

Given Havertz’s performance in midweek, it is no surprise to see the German keep his place in the starting XI ahead of Lukaku. The Belgian is among the substitutes but may only be called upon if Chelsea are chasing the game.

There is no Hakim Ziyech in the squad. The 28-year-old did suffer an injury against Lille but trained ahead of the final at Wembley.

Chelsea: Mendy; Chalobah, Silva, Rudiger; Azpilicueta, Kante, Kovacic, Alonso; Mount, Havertz, Pulisic

Chelsea substitutes: Kepa, James, Sarr, Jorginho, Loftus-Cheek, Saul, Hudson-Odoi, Lukaku, Werner





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