Ten important things to know about Liverpool vs. Chelsea before the 2024 Carabao Cup final | soccer4u
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Ten important things to know about Liverpool vs. Chelsea before the 2024 Carabao Cup final

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The Reds and Blues square up at Wembley for the third time in three seasons, with Jurgen Klopp’s team winning twice on penalties in 2022.

Although Liverpool is the clear favorite going into the game, Chelsea and Liverpool have had a lot of close encounters over the years in major cup competitions.

This is all you need know before Sunday’s League Cup final.

1. An additional visit to “Anfield South”

Under Klopp, Liverpool felt for a while that they would never make it to Wembley, except for a 2016 League Cup final defeat to Man City.

But the Reds won the FA Cup as well as the competition in 2021–2022, and this weekend offers them a fantastic opportunity to win yet another trophy.

The first obstacle is almost here, and Klopp will be hoping to cap off his time at Liverpool in the most memorable way imaginable. A quadruple is still possible.

There’s a wonderful occasion coming up.

2. Chelsea is erratic but becoming better

Liverpool’s trip to Chelsea for a 1-1 draw during the first weekend of the Premier League season seems like a lifetime ago because both teams have moved in completely different directions since then.

The Blues are mired in 10th position and are waiting to hear from Mauricio Pochettino, while the Reds are leading the league and intend to win all four titles.

Nevertheless, they have players who are capable of hurting Liverpool, and they have shown indications of improvement recently, not the least of which being the 1-1 draw against Man City last Saturday.

When Chelsea wins silverware, their season will seem very different from its lackluster performance at Anfield last month, where they lost 4-1. Chelsea will undoubtedly step up their game.

3. Which Liverpool players are hurt?

Sadly, Liverpool will suffer a major setback as they will be missing Trent Alexander-Arnold, Diogo Jota, and Alisson until after the international break next month.

Joel Matip, Thiago, and Stefan Bajcetic are among the players who are still out, while Curtis Jones, another absentee, might make a comeback “around” the internationals.

Positively, the crucial three of Darwin Nunez, Mohamed Salah, and Dominik Szoboszlai are battling to be fit for the championship game and will be evaluated in the days leading up to kickoff.

It would be a tremendous boost to have them back.

4. Is the XI chosen by itself?

Because of all the injuries, Klopp doesn’t really have a lot of options, therefore a lot of the starting XI selections are made by him.

Virgil van Dijk, Conor Bradley, Ibrahima Konate, Caoimhin Kelleher, and Andy Robertson are all expected to start, however Andy Robertson is probably going to be favored over Joe Gomez at left back.

Wataru Endo and Alexis Mac Allister seem obvious lockdown candidates in the midfield, while Ryan Gravenberch is the front-runner to join them.

The front three will once more consist of Harvey Elliott, Luis Diaz, and Cody Gakpo, if Salah and Nunez are only healthy enough to start on the bench as substitutes.

Potential Liverpool starting lineup: Kelleher; Endo, Mac Allister, Gravenberch; Elliott, Diaz, Gakpo; Bradley, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson

5. What lineup might Chelsea use?

Chelsea might start the same lineup that drew at the Etihad because they don’t have any fresh injuries and have had a week off since the City match.

Since both Levi Colwill and Axel Disasi played excellent center defense in that match, Pochettino will need to determine whether to activate veteran Thiago Silva, who has a “chance” of playing again.

Given that the Brazilian reaches 40 this year and is not the same player he once was, Liverpool may hope that he does.

Former Anfield forward Raheem Sterling is anticipated to start, while former Reds target Moises Caicedo, who is playing better now, could partner Enzo Fernandez.

Along with players like Romeo Lavia, Wesley Fofana, and Benoit Badiashile, Reece James is still out due to injury.

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

6. Lijnders discloses that he had offers to quit Anfield

The highest compliment you can give Liverpool’s deputy manager is that he’s often more analytical than Klopp in press conferences. He’ll be greatly missed when he departs.

7. Liverpool’s record in the League Cup final

Liverpool has made an appearance in the League Cup final 14 times overall, a record in a competition they have won numerous times.

They were defeated by Nottingham Forest in a replay of their inaugural match before winning four straight between 1981 and 1984, including replays against West Ham, Tottenham, Man United, and Everton.

Following their 1987 defeat by Arsenal, Liverpool, led by Steve McManaman, defeated Bolton in the championship game in 1995. Birmingham was defeated six years later at the Millennium Stadium.

After a devastating loss to Chelsea a few years later and a sweet-tasting victory against United in 2003, Cardiff was eliminated on penalties in 2012.

After a shootout loss to City in his first season, Klopp experienced his last heartbreak; nevertheless, two years prior, they had won on penalty kicks against Chelsea.

Not too bad for nine victories and four losses!

8. Were You Aware?

Even though Liverpool recently defeated Chelsea 4-1 at Anfield, it’s reasonable to conclude that their recent games have been evenly matched.

The Reds won both of the 2022 domestic finals on penalties, despite the fact that the previous seven games had all ended in draws within ninety minutes.

Almost three years have passed since Chelsea last defeated Liverpool in a competitive match, which occurred during the 2020–21 season when football was played inside.

Are we even considering Mason Mount’s goal, which turned out to be the difference in an eerie Anfield?

9. Chris Kavanagh assumes leadership

Chris Kavanagh will officiate Sunday’s championship match, and there will be a lot of pressure on him to do a good job.

This season, the 38-year-old has already officiated four Premier League games for Liverpool, beginning with the team’s 3-1 victory over West Ham at home in September.

Then came the 3-0 triumph over Forest at Anfield, the 1-1 draw at City, and the match at home against Arsenal, which concluded with the same result.

Tim Robinson is the fourth official, Mark Scholes and James Mainwaring support Kavanagh, while John Brooks oversees VAR.

10. Use TIA to watch the League Cup final.

Live coverage of Liverpool vs. Chelsea’s League Cup final begins at 2:00 p.m. (UK) on Sky Sports Main Event. The game starts at three o’clock.

If you can’t watch or would just like to keep TIA company, our live blog, hosted by Harry McMullen, starts at 2:15 pm and offers lots of updates and amusement.

Reds, get up and do it for Jurgen!

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