Chelsea will take on Liverpool without Romeo Lavia in the Carabao Cup final
Liverpool and Chelsea were involved in two major transfer tussles last summer. The Blues came out on top in not just the Moises Caicedo affair but also in luring Romeo Lavia from under the Merseysiders’ grasp.
Both teams will now face off once again, this time on the field later this month. Both teams will seek to secure the Carabao Cup in the final that will be played at Wembley on 25 February. The Reds will be seeking to end Jurgen Klopp’s reign on a high while Chelsea will seek to salvage their season by securing their first trophy under Mauricio Pochettino and Todd Boehly.
While the top clubs usually field under-strength sides in the Carabao Cup, things can be different in the final. While the top players could feature, there sill be one name who will miss out for Chelsea.
As per Fabrizio Romano via X, Pochettino has already made it clear that Lavia will not make the cut for the game. The Belgian international has struggled to stay fit this season and Blues fans are yet to see enough of their new man in action.
Pochettino has remarked that it is impossible for Lavia to return to full fitness before the game in a fortnight. The 20-year-old has played for just 32 minutes this season in a Blue jersey, a thoroughly underwhelming return given what it took for us to land him.
Liverpool and Chelsea have faced off twice this season, with the Reds winning at home and drawing the game at Stamford Bridge. The loss at Anfield was particularly jarring as Klopp’s men swarmed the midfield and made the likes of Caicedo and Enzo Fernandez seem poor. We could certainly have done with deploying Lavia alongside the Ecuadorian in the middle of the park.
Lavia will certainly enjoy better times at Stamford Bridge and all we need to do is remain patient. Even if he returns to training by the 25th of February, the lack of match fitness makes him a poor fit for a game of such intensity. It is in our best interests to ensure that he is brought back to full fitness before being deployed onto the field.
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Whether or not Lavia plays a starring role for us this season, he was brought into the club with an eye on the future. Immediate difficulties should not tempt us to take the eye off our long term plans and aspirations.