Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has a big call to make over Romelu Lukaku for Wednesday’s EFL Cup semi-final first leg with Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge.
The Belgian striker found himself in hot water following comments he made in a recent interview and was dropped from the squad to face Liverpool at the weekend.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Timo Werner remain doubts due to COVID-19 infection, while Reece James, Andreas Christensen and Ben Chilwell are on the treatment table.
Should Lukaku and Werner both fail to make the cut for Wednesday, Kai Havertz could once again lead the charge with support from Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech, the latter of whom was not called up to the Morocco squad for the Africa Cup of Nations.
Callum Hudson-Odoi can feel hopeful of being rotated into the side, while Jorginho could displace the injury-prone N’Golo Kante to join Mateo Kovacic – who scored a goal of the season contender at the weekend – in the engine room.
Tuchel may also decide to rest Thiago Silva‘s 37-year-old legs given that he has only just returned to the fold, so Malang Sarr could join Cesar Azpilicueta and Antonio Rudiger in the backline.
First-choice goalkeeper Edouard Mendy will also be absent for the duration of Senegal’s Africa Cup of Nations run, so Kepa Arrizabalaga will have the chance to impress in goal.
Chelsea possible starting lineup: Kepa; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Sarr; Hudson-Odoi, Jorginho, Kovacic, Alonso; Ziyech, Pulisic; Havertz
> Click here to see how Tottenham could line up for this clash