Chelsea face Liverpool in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday at Wembley. The two German coaches face off as the Blues look to win a third consecutive major final against The Reds (excludes the UEFA Super Cup). Chelsea previously won the 2005 League Cup and 2012 FA Cup finals against Liverpool. Both sides are proving very hard to beat of late with two losses in 32 for Tuchel’s team and one defeat in 23 for Klopp’s free-scoring charges.
Chelsea have won six matches in a row with four of those in cup competitions. Despite performance levels dropping, they have been beaten on just two occasions in 32 matches. A 2-0 win in the league against Tottenham was followed by a 2-1 extra-time win against Plymouth (FA Cup) and a 1-0 win over Al Hilal (FIFA Club World Cup semi-final). The Blues then lifted their second silverware of the season by beating Palmeiras 2-1 in the final of that competition.
A very laboured win at Crystal Palace followed as Hakim Ziyech netted in the 89th minute. Chelsea beat Lille 2-0 in the UEFA Champions League in their last match as Kai Havertz and Christian Pulisic scored.
Chelsea Team News
Thomas Tuchel is not expected to have Reece James back from injury but a bench role is possible. Mason Mount is available after an ankle injury and could start. Ben Chilwell remains absent. Kepa looks set to play in goal in preference to Edouard Mendy having played all of the previous rounds.
Chelsea saw both Hakim Ziyech and Mateo Kovacic go out injured against Lille. Mount and Jorginho could take their places in the XI. Kai Havertz is expected to lead the line with Romelu Lukaku left on the bench after some indifferent performances.
The Blues are very motivated for this match and had four rest days to prepare since facing Lille. Tuchel has won the Champions League final but lost the FA Cup in charge of Chelsea and will want to lift this crown.
A relatively defensive outlook is expected on the wide Wembley pitch with a back five out of possession and a deep defensive line.
Liverpool are looking superb. They’ve lost once in 23 matches across all competitions and have won nine matches in a row. Their last six league matches have been won by an 18-2 aggregate as they average three goals per game. They reached this final having beaten Arsenal 2-0 at the Emirates in the semi-final second leg.
After getting through a tough period to win 2-0 away at Inter Milan (Firmino 75’, Salah 83’), The Reds beat Norwich 3-1 having been a goal down with 27 minutes left to play. In their last match, they humiliated Leeds 6-0 at home. Mohammed Salah and Sadio Mane each scored braces.
Liverpool Team News
Klopp is expected to select his best XI for this match. Jordan Henderson looks set to replace Curtis Jones in the midfield three. Alisson should play in goal despite Caoimhin Kelleher playing the semi-final second leg against Arsenal.
There are injury doubts over both Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino due to injury. Sadio Mane could play through the middle with Luis Diaz starting on the left wing. Ibrahima Konate will battle Joel Matip to partner Virgil Van Dijk at centre back.
Liverpool will want to win this trophy for the first time since 2012. Klopp will have his side fully motivated and the Norwich home FA Cup tie in midweek won’t be any distraction.
The Reds will attack and look to win in 90 minutes.
Chelsea have won their last 6 matches (all comps)
Chelsea have lost 2 of their last 31 matches (all comps)
CFC have kept 4 clean sheets in their last 6 matches
LFC have lost their 2 previous cup finals against Chelsea
Liverpool have lost just once in 23 matches (all comps)
LFC have won their last 6 PL matches (18-2 aggregate score)
This match will be very tightly fought. Liverpool are the better team and may lift the trophy but it is hard to pick a winner in 90 minutes. A draw looks excellent value with extra time needed.
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