Drop Romelu Lukaku to punish Liverpool’s slow defenders, Rafa Benitez urges Thomas Tuchel before FA Cup final

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Drop Romelu Lukaku to punish Liverpool’s slow defenders, Rafa Benitez urges Thomas Tuchel before FA Cup final
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Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel should replace Romelu Lukaku with Kai Havertz for today’s FA Cup final, former Blues manager Rafa Benitez has claimed.

After a long spell out of the line-up, Lukaku has scored three goals in his last two starts compared to Havertz who has last netted over a month ago.

Yet Benitez, who led Liverpool to the 2006 FA Cup trophy, believes the German’s movement and pace are more of a threat to Jurgen Klopp’s backline than Lukaku.

“Liverpool have centre-backs who are big, strong and good in the air and because of those characteristics I think that facing someone like Kai Havertz will cause them more of a problem than a target man,” he wrote in The Times.

“Havertz brings more mobility, with the aim of dragging opponents out of position, and he would be supported by two players behind.

“Lukaku was a big success at Inter Milan because Antonio Conte played to his strengths, but Chelsea have more options up front.

“In Chelsea’s past two matches against Liverpool, Tuchel has gone with Havertz, Christian Pulisic and Mason Mount. Timo Werner is another alternative and my feeling is that it could be a similar plan.”

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