League Cup Final Preview: Chelsea and Liverpool Meet Again

Football Wednesday February 21, 2024 By: Duncan Hughes

Just like that, the first opportunity for domestic silverware is almost upon us. That’s right the Carabao League Cup Final will be played at Wembley on Sunday in a 3pm kick-off. Chelsea will take on Liverpool under the Wembley Arch with both clubs gunning for a much-needed trophy, for very different reasons.

A classic matchup that is sure to have all the hallmarks of a brilliant final. Not only that, it is a repeat of the 2022 final, one that Chelsea won on penalties breaking Liverpudlian hearts. The Red’s will be mindful of the outcome 2 years ago and they will be keen to claim revenge on a Chelsea side that haven’t been quite up to scratch as of late.

Starting with Liverpool, a high flying first half of the campaign sees them in a title race, and arguably favourites too. Also, still in the FA Cup and Europa League there is plenty of opportunity for them to pick up numerous pieces of silverware throughout the season. Their good form is perhaps not the main talking point of their season so far after manager, Jurgen Klopp, announced he would be leaving the club in the summer.

Klopp has been in charge of the Reds since 2015 and is regarded by many as one of the best managers in world football. With a Premier League title, Champions League and FA Cup amongst other trophies, it’s hard to argue that his reign at Liverpool hasn’t been spectacular and he will be a huge loss. Liverpool will be hoping to win as many trophies as possible throughout the remaining season to honour their head coach before his departure.

Chelsea on the other hand have been far from their best. They need something to kick start their season and a League Cup trophy could be just what they require. After spending in excess of £1 billion over the last two seasons, but only a mid-table finish last year and the possibility of another one this season to show for it, nothing seems to be quite working for the London club.

Fans hoped it would be different this season with the introduction of new manager Mauricio Pochettino and a complete overhaul of new players after last season, however, they still find themselves middle of the pack. Can they turn their season around with a piece of silverware?

So who should we look out for? In the league, Liverpool’s superstar Mohamed Salah has been in fine form once again with 15 goals and 9 assists in 21 matches. He is certain to be a nightmare for the Chelsea defence. As will Darwin Núnez who is coming into his own in a Liverpool shirt. The Uruguayan has 9 goals and 7 assists this season in the Premier League and while many claim he is too wasteful in front of goal, there is no denying that he is on course for a great tally this year.

Chelsea on the other hand boast a number of players in fine form themselves including England man Connor Gallagher. With three goals in his last three games, the midfielder is on fire for the Blues and he will be hoping to carry this goalscoring form into Wembley, alongside other Chelsea youngster Cole Palmer.

Palmer has proved vital to Chelsea this season contributing a number of goals and assists to the side after his signing from Manchester City. He is another man who the Liverpool defence will have to contain on Sunday.

Defensively, Liverpool are also the stronger of the two sides having only conceded 24 in the league this season compared to Chelsea’s 41 goals against. Liverpool’s good defensive record is a huge contributor to their position in the table and their cup form, not to mention their array of attacking options.

Although Chelsea appear to have had a weaker back line, they haven’t been short on goals with 42, the 8th most in the league and the best record in the bottom half of the table. If they were to tighten up at the back, where could they have found themselves this season?  

Another convincing win for Liverpool on Saturday away at Brentford will have Klopp and his side’s confidence soaring high. With that said, a good Chelsea performance away at Manchester City saw last year’s treble winners made to work hard to snatch a point. The performance will instil belief in the Blues that they can cause an upset this weekend.

One thing that can’t be denied is that this fixture always promises to be a classic. This weekend will be no different as two giants of English football will clash for the first piece of silverware this season. So who will it be, Chelsea or Liverpool?

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