Chelsea vs Liverpool Carabao Cup final preview: team news, kick-off, referee & TV

Liverpool will have the chance to claim their first silverware of the season this Sunday as they face Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley. 

The Reds have had to negotiate clashes with three Premier League sides and Championship leaders Leicester City en route to the showpiece event and will now face off against familiar foes in Chelsea.

Not only have Liverpool already faced the Blues twice this season, but Sunday's clash will be the fourth meeting with the west London outfit in the Reds' last five domestic cup finals.

That includes the Carabao Cup final back in the 2021/22 season, a game Liverpool won on penalties after a goalless draw - as was the case in the FA Cup final against the Blues later that campaign.

Nerves are bound to be jangling among the club's supporters given Liverpool's squad has been decimated by injuries in recent weeks. but Jurgen Klopp's side will still be favourites for the final this weekend.

Here is your guide to Chelsea vs Liverpool in the Carabao Cup final.


  • Date: Sunday, 25 February 2024
  • Kick-off time: 15:00 GMT / 10:00 ET /  07:00 PT
  • Stadium: Wembley Stadium
  • Referee: Chris Kavanagh
  • Assistant Referees: Mark Scholes and James Mainwaring
  • Fourth Official: Tim Robinson
  • VAR: John Brooks
  • AVAR: Marc Perry


Two of the giants of English football, Liverpool have regularly clashed with Chelsea in the past. In fact, there have been 196 meetings since the opener between the sides in 1907, with the Reds more dominant in this fixture.

Liverpool have won 85, drawn 46 and lost 65 of the previous encounters, and are unbeaten against the Blues since March 2021.

The Reds have played them twice this term already, most recently hammering Mauricio Pochettino's men 4-1 at Anfield back in late January.

Until that victory, the last seven meetings between the two clubs had ended in draws, including the 2022 Carabao Cup and FA Cup finals. The Reds also drew with Chelsea 2-2 in the UEFA Super Cup back in 2019, with all signs pointing to a cagey affair in the capital on Sunday.

This will be the third League Cup final meeting between the two teams, with both sides having won one each. Chelsea's victory came back in the 2004/05 campaign, winning 3-2 after extra-time thanks to goals from Didier Drogba and Mateja Kezman.


Sunday's final will, rather unsurprisingly, be broadcast live on TV in the United Kingdom, although you will need a Sky Sports subscription to tune into the action.

Alternatively, the game can be listened to on BBC Radio 5 Live and Talksport Radio.

Those in North America will be able to watch proceedings on DAZN and ESPN+ in Canada and the United States respectively.

In South America, the action will be broadcast on Star+, while those in Europe will have a range of different providers, including Viaplay.

SuperSport will be the go-to location in Africa, while beIN Sports will show the game across much of Asia and Australia.


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Liverpool's extensive injury list will give them an extra hurdle to overcome at Wembley this weekend, with the Reds missing a host of key players for the trip down south.

However, speaking in the Reds' pre-match press conference, assistant manager Pep Lijnders confirmed that Darwin Nunez, Mohamed Salah and Dominik Szoboszlai could all return for Sunday's encounter.

The trio will be assessed day by day, offering hope that they can at least take residence on Klopp's bench.

As expected, Curtis Jones and Diogo Jota will both be absent after sustaining injuries against Brentford last weekend. The English midfielder could return before the international break, but the Portuguese forward is looking at a couple of months on the sidelines.

Caoimhin Kelleher was always going to start in goal but that decision has now been forced by an injury to Alisson, while Trent Alexander-Arnold will also be unavailable until after the March international period.

Long-term absentees Joel Matip, Thiago, Stefan Bajcetic and Ben Doak will all miss the final.


The Blues have also struggled with injuries this season and they will be missing plenty of players on Sunday.

Across the defence, Reece James, Wesley Fofana, Marc Cucurella and Benoit Badiashile will all be sidelined, although goalkeeper Robert Sanchez could at least return to the bench.

In midfield, Lesley Ugochukwu will be absent with a hamstring injury, while Liverpool's summer transfer target Romeo Lavia is also missing having played just a handful of minutes this season.

However, Chelsea do have all of their attacking stars fit and firing, including ex-Red Raheem Sterling who netted against his other former club Manchester City last weekend.

Cole Palmer is also one to watch out for given his impressive form this term, while Nicolas Jackson looked lively against Man City last time out.


Liverpool have gone as strong as they possibly can for Sunday's final, but Klopp's lineup nevertheless sees the glaring omissions of Nunez, Salah and Szoboszlai.

Instead, the Reds field a front-three of Luis Diaz, Cody Gakpo and Harvey Elliott - the same that was fielded in their midweek win over Luton.

Elsewhere, Kelleher will start in goal and the impressive Conor Bradley has been favoured to Joe Gomez at right-back. Ibrahima Konate will return from a rest midweek to partner Virgil van Dijk, while Andy Robertson starts at left-back.

Wataru Endo and Alexis Mac Allister are assured of their starting berths after impressive recent displays, joined by Ryan Gravenberch.

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


Harvey Elliott

If Liverpool were able to field a full-strength starting lineup, few would give Chelsea a hope of lifting the cup on Sunday, but sadly that simply isn't the case any longer.

The Reds' character will be tested - as it was against Luton midweek - with few options capable of changing things from the bench. If the game goes to extra-time, Liverpool may be in trouble.

However, the 4-1 victory over Chelsea last month shows that there is still a huge gulf in class between the two teams, and Klopp's men should still have too much for the Blues this weekend.

Chelsea 1-2 Liverpool

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