'I feel sorry for': Paul Merson says only two from these three Chelsea players will start League Cup final
Paul Merson has explained it will be extremely tough on the Chelsea midfielder that doesn’t start tomorrow out of Mateo Kovacic, N’Golo Kante and Jorginho.
Chelsea make the short trip to Wembley Stadium on Sunday afternoon to face rivals Liverpool in the League Cup final.
Blues manager Thomas Tuchel has the unenviable task of naming a starting line-up, something that’ll be extremely difficult given the sheer depth of talent in the squad. It’s made even tougher by the fact Ben Chilwell is the only senior first-team player not available, too.
Tuchel usually prefers to start with two of his three senior central midfielders, and Merson thinks that’s the route he’ll take tomorrow against Liverpool.
“Thomas Tuchel, though, needs to decide who starts in the middle of the park, with Mateo Kovacic, N’Golo Kante and Jorginho all vying for a spot. I feel sorry for the one who is going to miss out, because they are all top players in their own right,” Merson said.
A Kante-Kovacic combination started this week’s Champions League win against Lille. Meanwhile, Jorginho was left on the bench.
It was interesting to hear Tuchel explain in his Friday press conference that Jorginho’s looked “mentally tired” recently, so will he be prepared to recall him for a huge cup final?
So many questions on Chelsea line-up
For Liverpool, you’d have a decent chance of naming the exact XI they’ll put out at Wembley. It’s a great sign for Jurgen Klopp’s side that they know what they’re good at and are playing superbly well.
In contrast, a lot of Tuchel’s success at Stamford Bridge has been done without knowing his best Chelsea team.
There must be a few individuals nailed on to start, with Thiago Silva, Antonio Rudiger and Kante the names that spring to mind.
However, it’s a pure guessing game in so many other areas.
Edouard Mendy or Kepa Arrizabalaga in goal? Kovacic or Jorginho in midfield? Kai Havertz or Romelu Lukaku in the centre-forward position? In addition, there is the temptation to throw Reece James back into the deep end following his return from injury.