Chelsea will be raring to go against Liverpool in the FA Cup final on Saturday with the chance to end their hectic season with some silverware. But there will be two players who will be chomping at the bit to prove a point in this epic clash.
When the Blues face the Reds at Wembley, Thomas Tuchel will be looking to exact revenge on his compatriot Jurgen Klopp after losing out in the Carabao Cup earlier this season. However, they take on a team hellbent on winning the quadruple with the Champions League and Premier League also in their sights.
It makes for a classic finale in the oldest cup competition in football while these two teams have a fantastic history with the trophy. But for the Blues, there will be two players desperate to prove a point after a turbulent season at Stamford Bridge.
The future looks somewhat more stable in the last week or so after Todd Boehly was identified as the preferred bidder to take over Roman Abramovich and it is now up to Tuchel to end the campaign on a high note – and picking two stars to make that happen looks a certainty.
Romelu Lukaku has had a nightmare year after returning to Chelsea last summer – billed as the man to lead them to Premier League glory. However, that has not transpired and he has just eight league goals in 25 appearances – though three of those have come in the past week.
The Belgian has hit form at precisely the right time while a performance in the final will banish the critics who have berated his lack of impact in the big games. In the Carabao Cup final, though, the £97million man looked in fine fettle and only a controversial offside prevented a completely different narrative being told where it would have been Lukaku’s goal that led them to glory.
There has been plenty of talk over the former Inter Milan star and a potential return to Italy but the striker will be absolutely desperate to be in the headlines for the right reasons on Sunday morning. At times, Lukaku is unplayable for defenders – as he was at the start of the season – if he can find that form again, Liverpool have a problem.
The other Chelsea star looking to put his name up in lights will be Mason Mount. The England international has arguably been the club’s most effective player this season – yet his last final appearance will rankle hard.
With the scores locked at 0-0, Mount was guilty of missing some huge chances – two absolutely gilt-edged opportunities that he really should have tucked away. It has been a brilliant campaign for the midfielder so far, but that day will be something of a blemish on what has been his best season as a professional footballer.
The 23-year-old has been sensational this campaign, scoring 13 and assisting 16 – the last player at Chelsea to reach double figures for both stats was Eden Hazard. And it is quickly becoming apparent that Mount is the go-to guy in attack for Tuchel’s side.
But at a club like Chelsea, that means winning trophies – and that will mean that the Blues poster-boy will have to prove himself this Saturday.