Premier League • England

Predicted Chelsea team to face Liverpool: Kante fitness gives Tuchel massive midfield decision

Ciaran McCarthy
N'Golo Kante and Jorginho of Chelsea

Following a few games out through injury, the predicted Chelsea team to face Liverpool in the FA Cup final could see them boosted by the return of N’Golo Kante.

Chelsea’s form has been up and down for a decent period of the season and that has been no different of late. The Blues have failed to win three of their last four games.

They drew 1-1 with Manchester United at the end of April, and followed that up with a shock 1-0 loss to relegation-threatened Everton next time out.

They went two goals up against Wolves the following game, but the Molineux outfit pulled two back, as it finished honours even at 2-2.

Last game, Chelsea managed to break their tough streak, thrashing Leeds United 3-0 at Elland Road.

Injuries in the midfield have hindered Chelsea of late. Jorginho returned for the Leeds game after missing the previous fixture. Kante has spent three games on the sidelines, but could make his return against Liverpool.

Tuchel said in his pre-match press conference that Kante is “keen” to make the squad, and he is hopeful of his return. Mateo Kovacic – who has deputised in the absence of the pair – may miss out, due to “heavy pain” in his ankle following a dangerous challenge from Daniel James.

Last time out – Leeds 0-3 Chelsea

Daniel James receives a red card for Leeds United

Edouard Mendy started in net. The three centre-backs ahead of him were Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Trevoh Chalobah – with Thiago Silva dropping to the bench.

Reece James and Marcos Alonso occupied the two wing-back positions.

Between them were Jorginho and Kovacic, who came off eight minutes after James’ reckless lunge.

Christian Pulisic and Mason Mount played in the advanced roles, both scoring very well-taken goals. Romelu Lukaku played between them, and has hit form of late, scoring three goals in the last two games.

Predicted Chelsea team against Liverpool

A few changes are expected from the last few games, and Tuchel has a wealth of options to pick from. The FA Cup is Chelsea’s last chance to get something positive from this season, as they have pretty much been stuck in third in the Premier League all season.

Mendy will likely remain in net. Silva could come back into the heart of the defence alongside Christensen and Rudiger.

James and Alonso are likely to take up the wide roles. While Kante may not be fully fit, Chelsea may risk him, given the importance of the game. Jorginho is likely to remain in the side alongside him.

Mount’s place is pretty much guaranteed in the side given his attacking output in all competitions this season. He will likely partner Timo Werner in assisting the main forward.

Despite Lukaku’s form in recent weeks, it may be Kai Havertz that gets the nod in the central role, as he has been preferred option alongside Mount and Werner in recent rimes.

Predicted Chelsea XI: Mendy; Christensen, Silva, Rudiger; James, Jorginho, Kante, Alonso; Mount, Havertz, Werner

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