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Thomas Tuchel should start Kai Havertz over Romelu Lukaku in FA Cup final, says Rafa Benitez

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel should start Kai Havertz over £98m man Romelu Lukaku in the FA Cup final against Liverpool, says former Reds manager Rafa Benitez, who believes the German “provides more mobility” than the Belgian striker.

  • Romelu Lukaku has generally been benched in favor of Kai Havertz this season.
  • Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has tended to prefer the German for big games.
  • And former Liverpool manager Rafa Benítez says Tuchel should do it again
  • Benítez, who won the FA Cup in 2006, says Havertz would cause more trouble.

Former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez believes Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel should start Kai Havertz in charge over Romelu Lukaku for this afternoon’s FA Cup final.

Tuchel has tended to prefer the German in a striker role over Belgian striker Lukaku, who is the club’s record signing having returned to the club last summer for £98m from Inter Milan.

However, write to The times, Benítez, who won the Cup in 2006 with Liverpool, insists Havertz ‘brings more mobility’, which would worry Liverpool’s centre-back duo, likely Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate.

Former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez believes Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel should start Kai Havertz in charge over Romelu Lukaku for this afternoon's FA Cup final.

Lukaku is the club's record signing having returned to the club last summer for £98m from Inter Milan.

Former Liverpool manager Rafa Benítez believes Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel should start Kai Havertz (left) in front over Romelu Lukaku (right) for this afternoon’s FA Cup final.

Tuchel has tended to prefer the German in a striker role over Belgian striker Lukaku.

Tuchel has tended to prefer the German in a striker role over Belgian striker Lukaku.

Benitez said: ‘Liverpool have centre-backs who are big, strong and good in the air and because of those characteristics I think facing someone like Kai Havertz will cause them more problems than an objective man.

Havertz brings more mobility, aiming to drag opponents out of position, and would be supported by two players behind.

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

‘In Chelsea’s last two games against Liverpool, Tuchel went with Havertz, Christian Pulisic and Mason Mount. Timo Werner is another alternative and my feeling is that it could be a similar plan.

Benítez won the FA Cup in 2006 with Liverpool, the last time the Reds won the trophy.

Benítez won the FA Cup in 2006 with Liverpool, the last time the Reds won the trophy.

Lukaku is actually Chelsea’s top scorer this season with 15 goals to Havertz’s 13, but his first season in English football has been overshadowed by injuries and speculation about his future.

The latter comes after he gave an interview over the festive period about a day back at Inter; subsequently, Tuchel left him.

Havertz, who scored the winning goal in last year’s Champions League final, is usually the favorite for the big occasion.

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