Thomas Tuchel will be hoping to add to his impressive portfolio as World Champions Chelsea lock horns with Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool in the Carabao Cup Final on Sunday afternoon.
The Blues have won their last six games in all competitions and will be looking to continue this fine run of form against a Liverpool side who haven’t lost in 2022.
Tuchel has confirmed he will have a full complement of his players to choose from for the final except Ben Chilwell, who is sidelined for the remainder of the season.
Reece James made his return to Chelsea training on Thursday after spending two months out with a hamstring injury.
Callum Hudson-Odoi has also returned to team training on Friday after missing the last two matches with an achilles injury.
Pep Lijnders, Liverpool’s assistant manager, confirmed that Portuguese International Jota is doing some training after suffering an ankle injury and is not yet ruled out of their trip to the capital.
“Jota, so far no reaction on the things he did, so the straight-line running, the changes of direction and the ball work he did, so that’s a good sign. He isn’t ruled out but still will be a challenge.”
As for Firmino, Ljinders confirmed he will not be ready for the final, despite some progress with his muscle injury.
“He [Roberto Firmino] is pushing himself really hard but he will not be available for the final, to reach the squad.”
Pep Ljinders has also confirmed that Caoimhin Kelleher will start in goal for Liverpool on Sunday.
Chelsea FC: Mendy, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Silva, Rudiger, Alonso, Kante, Jorginho, Mount, Havertz, Werner
Liverpool FC: Kelleher, Alexander-Arnold, Van-Dijk, Konate, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Thiago, Salah, Mane, Diaz
Both teams are coming into the final in fine form. Chelsea have won their last six since playing out a 1-1 draw with Brighton back in mid-January. In that time, Tuchel’s men have also travelled to the UAE, getting their hands on the Club World Cup.
For Liverpool, they’ve a 100% record since their goalless draw with Arsenal in the first leg of the Carabao Cup, but haven’t lost since their disappointing performance at Leicester, just before the turn of the year.
One to watch
Our Chelsea one to watch is German international Kai Havertz. In his short stay in England so far, he has certainly chipped in with some crucial goals for the Blues.
With a winner in the Champions League final and the Club World Cup final, who would be surprised if he had a say on today’s outcome? The youngster also netted at Anfield last year in the sides’ first Premier League clash of the campaign.
Chelsea and Liverpool have met twice already this season in the Premier League, both times, playing out enthralling score draws.
Havertz and Mo Salah scored for their respective teams in a 1-1 draw at Anfield in September before the sides met again at the start of January in a fascinating 2-2 draw.
As for the Carabao Cup, it was seventeen years since the last time these two giants clashed in the final of this competition.
It was Chelsea’s day as they beat the eight time winners of the competition 3-2 to secure their first piece of silverware under Jose Mourinho.
Where to watch on TV?
The game will be broadcasted live on Sky Sports Football, Sky Sports Ultra HD and Sky Sports Main Event.