Liverpool vs Chelsea: Carabao Cup Preview, Final, 2024
Pochettino and Klopp shaking hands before the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC

Throughout the entirety of this season, Chelsea has been mostly inconsistent, but in Mauricio Pochettino’s first season as Chelsea boss, he has managed to conduct the perfect trophy charge, beating the likes of Brighton, Eddie Howe’s Newcastle, and Championship outfit Middlesborough, amongst others.

With trophies being the key to success, Pochettino will be hoping to win his first cup in England, but the Reds will be hoping to secure victory in a bid to give their German manager, Jurgen Klopp, the perfect send-off.

Chelsea fans' minds may be plagued by the thought of the two domestic cup finals the two played in 2021/22, which both remained goalless over the 240 minutes before going to penalties and seeing Liverpool come out victorious in both.

Team News

Chelsea Team News

In Chelsea’s last game out, Pochettino's men nearly saw victory against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, only to be thwarted by an 81st-minute equaliser by Rodri to ultimately cancel out former Liverpool man Raheem Sterling.

Brazilian defender Thiago Silva is hopeful of a return, following a brief spell on the sidelines because of a groin injury sustained after the 4-2 loss against Wolves. Having lost three finals in total at England’s home of football, he will be hoping to return and put an end to this spell of bad misfortune.

Furthermore, Chelsea will be without captain Reece James, Wesley Fofana, Marc Cucurella, and Benoit Badiashile in defense, leaving their defensive options rather scarce.

In the middle, Liverpool’s summer transfer priority, Romeo Lavia, is set to miss out on the final, and Lesley Ugochukwu will be absent with a hamstring injury.

The Blue’s will be delighted to know that all of their attacking options are fit enough to feature including ex Liverpool man Raheem Sterling, who will be hoping to get his revenge following the 4-1 loss to Liverpool at the end of last month.

Liverpool Team News

Liverpool’s extensive injury list will give them an extra barrier to overcome this weekend, with most of their key players on the sidelines.

However, commenting in the Red’s pre-match press conference, assistant manager Pep Lijnders stated that Dominik Szoboszlai, Mohammed Salah, and Darwin Nunez are all in contention to feature in Sunday’s encounter.

As most would imagine, Curtis Jones and Diogo Jota will both be 100% absent following injuries sustained in a 4-1 win against Brentford. Lijnders did say that the English midfielder may have a chance of returning before the international break; meanwhile, Jota is looking at a few months out of action. 

 Diogo Jota of Liverpool is stretchered off after a challenge with Christian Norgaard. Picture by (Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
Diogo Jota of Liverpool is stretchered off after a challenge with Christian Norgaard. Picture by (Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

 

Klopp has previously stated that Caoimhin Kelleher was always going to start due to his frequent appearances throughout the entirety of the cup run, but this decision has been made easier for the German manager as Alisson Becker has picked up a hamstring injury, while Trent Alexander-Arnold is said to be unavailable until after the upcoming international break.

Lastly, long-term absentees Stefan Bajcetic, Ben Doak, Joel Matip, and Thiago Alcantara will all miss the game.

Predicted Lineups

Chelsea

(4-2-3-1): Petrovic; Gusto, Disasi, Colwill, Chilwell; Caicedo, Fernandez; Palmer, Gallagher, Sterling; Jackson.

Liverpool

(4-3-3): Kelleher; Gomez, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Mac Allister, Endo, Gravenberch; Elliott, Gakpo, Diaz.

Key Players

Chelsea: Cole Palmer

The young Englishman joined Chelsea from Manchester City in the summer, a move that saw some people question why.

The 21 year old has been emphatic in his response to people questioning his ambition, becoming the focal point of the Chelsea attack. He has single-handedly contributed to 14 goals and 9 assists for the London outfit in 32 games in all competitions.

He has proven himself to be a relatively “big game player” and has already made his mark, scoring against Pep Guardiola’s side in a 4-4 draw early in the season. Pochettino will be hoping that his go-to man will be firing on all cylinders to help put an end to his trophy drought since moving to England.

Liverpool: Cody Gakpo

One player who may benefit from Nunez not being eligible to start against Chelsea is Cody Gakpo and it would be deserved if he did start considering the recent form, he has been in.

The Dutchman has netted four times across his five outings on the road to Wembley, and with both Salah and Nunez out, Klopp would hope that he could call on Gakpo to help bring Liverpool on their way to glory.

With two goals and one assist in his last two games; against Brentford and Luton, the 24-year-old will be hoping to maintain this form and contribute to success in the process.

 

Match Details

Where is the game being played?

The game will take place at Wembley in London, England.

What time is kickoff?

The game is set to kick-off at 15:00 GMT / 10:00 ET / 07:00 PT on Sunday, February 24, 2024.

How can I watch it?

The game will be televised on Sky Sports Football, Sky Sports Main Events / Sky Go Extra, Sky Sports Ultra HD.

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