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If Lukaku gets a look-in Chelsea could beat Liverpool and win today's EFL Cup Final at Wembley

Boss Tuchel has grasped nettle with big striker as false nine style works
Lukaku is a great 'out-ball' option for Chelsea

Lukaku is a great 'out-ball' option for Chelsea

Roman Abramovich

Roman Abramovich

Christian Pulisic (centre) with Kai Havertz and Saul after scoring against Lille

Christian Pulisic (centre) with Kai Havertz and Saul after scoring against Lille

Paul McGrath

.It's not easy being a Chelsea fan this morning. We're all set for a EFL Cup final at Wembley against Liverpool.

But events on the other side of Europe are very worrying too.

For the longer the dreadful conflict in Ukraine goes on, the more likely it is that governments across Europe will move against all assets held by Russian citizens.

And that means Roman Abramovich's ownership of Chelsea will be open to question.

He has given an estimated £1.6 billion in loans to the club over the years.

Who on earth is going to repay Abramovich (below) anything like that sum of money now if he is forced to sell?

Last night he passed his ownership of the team to the Chelsea club trust. But he didn't sell the club, Abramovich can take control of the club back any time he wants.

I suspect it is all a PR stunt to try to stop Chelsea being booed at Wembley this afternoon. Will it work? No!

Chelsea were my boyhood club. Charlie Cooke, the great winger, was my boyhood hero.

And there were good times and bad ones at Chelsea all through my football life.

Roman Abramovich

Roman Abramovich

However, the last 20 years have been brilliant for the citizens of the Shed End and the Matthew Harding Stand.

Two European Cups won, numerous Premier Leagues and Cups bagged - and today a great chance to lift another Cup, the EFL Cup.

Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea will have to be at their very best to see off Liverpool, who are in great form right now under Jurgen Klopp.

Chelsea's challenge for this season's Premier League title hardly got going; it fizzled out with too many draws before Christmas.

And a defeat to Manchester City in January put the tin hat on it.

But they are still alive in this Cup, in the FA Cup and in the Champions League, where a solid performance against Lille last Tuesday saw Chelsea put one foot in the last eight.

Tuchel has grasped the nettle that surrounds Romelu Lukaku.

His 'I love Inter' interview with Italian television has to be one of the greatest examples of a footballer shooting himself in the foot ever.

When he's playing, the big Belgian is a great out ball for any Chelsea player needing to get rid of the ball quickly.

He'll hold it up and reminds me so much of my old team-mate Mark Hughes, who was so strong and impossible to dispossess once he got the ball.

That's what Lukaku gives you. But without him, Tuchel has found this fluid style, full of movement with players picking up good positions.

It is almost a copy of Spain's team that won Euro 2012 without a recognised centre-forward.

It's not quite the same, as that great Spanish side had six attacking midfielders.

Chelsea never leave the back door open, they always keep room for at least one, if not two, of N'Golo Kante or Jorginho or Mateo Kovacic in their side.

But by using one of Kai Havertz, Mason Mount or Christian Pulisic as a centre-forward who isn't a centre-forward, Tuchel's boys are getting the job done.

There's a lovely style to watching Chelsea just now and the big Wembley pitch is just made for them.

There will be lots of room for their wing-backs to get forward and support the front players, something the manager's system calls for all the time.

But the wing-backs can't go gung-ho this afternoon, because Liverpool's players will slice any defence to pieces at speed.

I loved the way Klopp codded everyone during the January window.

"We're not buying, we're not buying', was his constant refrain.

And then he went out and got Luis Diaz from Porto - who is already looking like a hell of a player.

Christian Pulisic (centre) with Kai Havertz and Saul after scoring against Lille

Christian Pulisic (centre) with Kai Havertz and Saul after scoring against Lille

I wonder was buying Diaz not just a little sign to Mo Salah, that 'look we love you and we want you to stay, but if you go, this kid will slip into your role'.

If Liverpool sign Salah to a three-year deal, say, giving him the big bucks he wants, they will win more League and Cups in those three years than they will without their Egyptian magician. It's that simple.

But then Salah will be 33 when his contract ends, and of limited financial value.

If I was Mo, I'd hustle Liverpool for every penny I could get out of them and then I'd stay. And become a Liverpool legend to rival Kenny Dalglish or Ian Rush.

Because if Mo helps the Scousers to another Premier League title and another Champions League win in those three years, that is where he will reside.

He could stay at the club for life, coaching kids and being an ambassador.

Does he really want to go to another club where the system does not suit his talents so perfectly?

Does he want to uproot his family from a city where they are loved? To go to a club where the manager who bought you might be fired a month after you arrive?

Klopp is not going to be fired at Liverpool - he's staying at least as long as you are Mo.

Liverpool now have their tails up in the Premier League race and they will carry that momentum into today's game.

It will take everything in Chelsea's locker to resist Liverpool's surge today at Wembley.

The Blues will need to be resolute in defence and strong in midfield.

And then they need to hope that Havertz or Mount might somehow sneak past Virgil van Dijk to get the one goal that might win it for them. Here's hoping!

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