Chelsea vs Liverpool: early team news as both have striker problems on eve of Carabao Cup final

Liverpool could be without Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino while Romelu Lukaku may not start for Chelsea.

Liverpool aim to claim the first domestic piece of silverware of the season up for grabs when they face Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday.

It’s set to be an enthralling encounter at Wembley with both teams determined to win the crown.

The final is a repeat of the 2005 showpiece in which Chelsea came out 3-2 victors after extra-time.

Liverpool team news

Liverpool are currently second in the table and are in red-hot form after winning their past nine matches in all competitions.

Jurgen Klopp’s side are looking relatively positive on the injury front on the eve of the final.

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The Reds are currently sweating on the fitness of Diogo Jota.

The striker has missed the past two games because of an ankle issue he suffered in last week’s Champions League last-16 first-leg triumph at Inter Milan.

Assistant manager Pep Lijnders admits it might be a ‘challenge’ for Jota to be given the green light but has not yet been ruled out.

Roberto Firmino will definitely not be available, however. He has a muscle issue and remains sidelined.

As a result, it could mean that Sadio Mane features as a makeshift striker.

The Senegalese bagged a double in the 6-0 thrashing of Leeds United on Wednesday.

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Klopp has also confirmed that Caoimhin Kelleher will start in goal. That means that No.1 stopper Alisson will only make the bench.

Chelsea team news

Meanwhile, Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has admitted that he’s tempted to start Reece James.

He’s now back training having not featured since December because of a hamstring issue.

Mateo Kovacic and Hakim Ziyech have both trained after limping off in the 2-0 defeat of Lille in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Mason Mount was back on the bench for that victory at Stamford Bridge

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Callum Hudson-Odoi is also back in contention after a problem with his Achilles.

Ben Chilwell is the only Blues player ruled out after undergoing knee surgery. The left-back won’t play again this season.

Tuchel also has a selection dilemma on whether to start Romelu Lukaku.

The striker cost Chelsea £97.5 million from Inter last summer but has been badly out of sorts in recent weeks.

Lukaku was benched against Lille.