Silva, Lavia & Sanchez: Chelsea injury news latest and return dates ahead of Carabao Cup final vs Liverpool

All the latest injury news from Chelsea ahead of Sunday's Carabao Cup final at Wembley.
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Chelsea will be aiming to find a silver lining to an otherwise drab campaign when they face Liverpool in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley this weekend. The Blues are currently languishing 10th in the Premier League table, but have enjoyed decent success in the cup competitions, and have a very real chance of making it into quarter-finals of the FA Cup when they play Leeds United next Wednesday evening.

Before then, however, they will be bidding to secure a first piece of silverware under Mauricio Pochettino on Sunday afternoon. Standing in their way are Liverpool, who are currently on an eight-game unbeaten streak against the Blues that stretches back to March 2021. Indeed, when the two sides met at the end of January, Jurgen Klopp's men ran out 4-1 winners at Anfield.

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But anything can happen in a cup final, and Chelsea will be optimistic about their chances of causing a minor upset, even if they will have to do so without a number of recognisable first team names. With that in mind, we've taken a look at the Blues' latest injury concerns, as well as any expected return dates where available, below...

Reece James

The Chelsea captain cannot catch a break when it comes to his fitness. James underwent surgery in Finland shortly before Christmas in an effort to finally fix his ongoing hamstring problems, but as yet, there is no concrete indication as to when he is expected to return.

Benoit Badiashile

Badiashile suffered a groin strain during the FA Cup fourth round replay against Aston Villa, and was subsequently ruled out for about a month. All being well, he could be back in time to face Newcastle United during the second week of March, but he will definitely not be available on Sunday.

Thiago Silva

Another Chelsea defender battling a groin complaint, Silva seemingly has a fairly decent chance of making Pochettino's match day squad for the trip to Wembley. Speaking about the veteran centre-back last Friday, his manager said: 'It’s a minor injury for Thiago but I think he’s out for tomorrow and is not available'. Further assessment is needed, but the prognosis is optimistic, at least.

Marc Cucurella

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Cucurella has been sidelined since December with an ankle injury that ultimately required surgery, but was spotted at Cobham last week and is understood to be nearing a return to action. Full match fitness is still some way off, however, and he won't feature against Liverpool.

Romeo Lavia

The Belgian midfielder has endured a torrid time since joining Chelsea over the summer, and will have to settle for a watching brief once again on Sunday. A thigh complaint is his latest concern, and Pochettino has made it clear that he will not be available for the trip to Wembley. Speaking about Lavia, the Argentine said: 'No [he won't be back for the Carabao Cup final]. He is not training with the team. He is still recovering. Impossible. He is still not on the pitch.'

Lesely Ugochukwu

Like Lavia, Ugochukwu has been deeply unfortunate when it comes to injuries this season. The midfielder aggravated a hamstring issue during the Christmas Eve defeat to Wolves, and while he was initially expected to be out for around six weeks, that period has come and gone with no mention of a potential return.

Carney Chukwuemeka

There is, however, better news regarding Chukwuemeka. The young midfielder twisted his ankle in the build up to last weekend's 1-1 draw against Manchester City, but the injury is not expected to keep him sidelined for long, and he could be in contention to feature at Wembley.

Robert Sanchez

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Likewise, Sanchez is understood to have finally put a pesky knee problem behind him, but missed the draw against City due to personal reasons. All being well, however, he should be back this weekend, with Pochettino facing a tricky decision over whether to opt for the Spaniard, or stick with deputy Djordje Petrovic.

Wesley Fofana

Fofana underwent ACL surgery in July of last year, and while his recovery is said to be going as planned, it remains to be seen whether or not he will play at all this season.

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