'Absolutely no reason': Craig Burley totally convinced Chelsea player shouldn't start in League Cup final

Craig Burley suggests there will be some raised eyebrows in the Chelsea squad if Romelu Lukaku starts in tomorrow’s League Cup final.

Chelsea and Liverpool compete on Sunday for the Carabao Cup trophy at Wembley Stadium.

Blues manager Thomas Tuchel has the luxury of almost a fully fit squad to pick from, with long-term injury absentee Ben Chilwell the only senior player to miss training.

It means supporters are fiercely debating who makes the final starting line-up.

ESPN pundit Burley has made it clear he doesn’t think Chelsea number nine Lukaku should be recalled to the XI.

The 28-year-old centre-forward sat on the bench during his side’s Champions League win against Lille this week, as teammate Kai Havertz impressed at the point of attack. Incidentally, Havertz has been receiving positive comments from Tuchel in the build up to Sunday’s final.

“I don’t see why he should start. I believe they’re all fit from their exploits the other day. Havertz is starting to show up. No, there’s absolutely no reason in this world, absolutely no sentiment for him starting,” Burley told ESPN.

“This is not kindergarten here, this is a big cup competition. If he was named in the team, I think it would raise eyebrows in that dressing room with the other players. That’s how bad it’s got for me.”

Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Lukaku came to Chelsea to start cup finals

For certain, it’ll be a shock to the system for Lukaku if he doesn’t make the starting line-up at Wembley.

It was only one game he sat out of against Lille, but it felt quite a significant moment given it was a Champions League knockout tie.

Tuchel may have had it in the back of his mind that he was always going to recall Lukaku against Liverpool. However, perhaps Havertz’s performance at striker may have done enough for him to alter any plans.

It’s an anxious wait for supporters, and especially the player, to see the line-up announcement.

Lukaku’s obviously underwhelmed so far despite 10 goals across all competitions this campaign, but scoring in a cup final like tomorrow could be a catalyst for any player’s individual season.

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A sports journalist who graduated from Staffordshire University in 2016 and is a Chelsea supporter. Loves anything football or cricket related when it comes to England.