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Chelsea vs Liverpool tactical preview: Where Carabao Cup Final will be won and lost at Wembley today

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The Carabao Cup is often seen as the perfect opportunity to build momentum ahead of the business end of the campaign.

Both Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola have used this relatively early piece of silverware to push towards yet more success later in the season and, given a recent lull in performances, Chelsea could certainly do with the boost.

A title challenge, of course, looks all but impossible at this stage but beating one of the best teams in Europe at a showpiece event could well lift the mood and help reboot the team with both the Champions League and FA Cup offering avenues of further success.

Standard Sport’s James Robson outlines three key issues to solve for Thomas Tuchel…

Can Havertz deliver again?

Chelsea FC via Getty Images

It has been another season of frustration for Kai Havertz, but he is gaining a reputation as a man for the big occasion. His goals secured the Champions League and Club World Cup, so can he be the Wembley hero too?

Liverpool struggled to handle him when Chelsea travelled to Anfield earlier in the season until Reece James’ red card forced Tuchel into a tactical reshuffle. There was enough in that game to suggest he can hurt Klopp’s side on the break.

Clip Liverpool’s wings

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Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson are a reminder of what Chelsea have been missing during the absence of Ben Chilwell and James.

They are Liverpool’s most creative forces and will need to be controlled if Chelsea are to come out on top. In an ideal world, Tuchel would want to fight fire with fire, but without his first-choice wing-backs it could be a case of containing the pair, as much as forcing them to retreat with Chelsea’s own wide play.

Count on Mount

Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Mason Mount was back on the bench in midweek after recovering from ankle ligament damage and will be desperate to start at Wembley.

It could be a risk to throw him straight back in, but Chelsea are a different team with him in the side. He links midfield and attack better than just about anyone in Tuchel’s squad, particularly in the absence of a No10 in his 3-4-3 formation. Havertz can only benefit from that if he starts in the central role again.

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