Mauricio Pochettino has confirmed that Romeo Lavia will not be available for Chelsea’s Carabao Cup final game against Liverpool on February 25.
The Belgian midfielder has had a torrid time in west London since signing from Championship club Southampton for £53 million last summer. He picked up an ankle injury shortly after his switch to Stamford Bridge and then suffered a hamstring injury that has kept him out since late December.
Lavia has still made just one appearance for Chelsea so far, appearing for 32 minutes in the club’s 2-1 league win over Crystal Palace on December 27. Pochettino was asked at his latest pre-match press conference if the midfielder, who was a summer target for Liverpool, could feature against the Reds at Wembley.
The Argentine replied (h/t Football.London):
“No. He is not training with the team. He is still recovering. But no, no, impossible. Still not on the pitch.”
Lavia, 20, made 34 appearances across competitions for the Saints during the solitary season he spent on their books. Before that, he spent two years at Manchester City but mustered just two appearances under Pep Guardiola.
Pundit predicts Chelsea’s league game against Crystal Palace
Chris Sutton believes Chelsea will beat Crystal Palace in their upcoming league game on Monday (February 12) due to the Eagles missing two crucial players.
Playmakers Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise will both sit out of the game due to injuries. Together, the pair have scored 11 of Palace’s 26 goals in the Premier League this season in a combined 27 appearances.
Writing in his BBC column, Sutton predicted a 1-0 win for the visitors at Selhurst Park and stated:
“I am worried about Palace, especially with Michael Olise and Eberechi Eze’s ongoing injury issues, and I am making this prediction on the basis they will both be missing. Although Chelsea remain a very odd side and we don’t know what kind of performance we will get from them, I can see them keeping a clean sheet and they have got enough firepower to nick a goal from somewhere”
Chelsea sit 11th in the table with 31 points from 23 matches so far after suffering back-to-back league losses. Palace trail them by seven points and three places and come into this game on the back of two wins in their last four Premier League matches.