Match Preview: League Cup Final - Liverpool vs Chelsea - Key battles, teams, prediction

Match Preview: League Cup Final - Liverpool vs Chelsea - Key battles, teams, prediction

Liverpool will face Chelsea for the League Cup at Wembley Stadium on Sunday at 16:30 local time.

Both sides have been exceptional in the aforementioned competition this season. Liverpool defeated Arsenal 2-0 on aggregate to reach the final.

Reds forward Diogo Jota was the hero. The Portugal international scored both of Liverpool's goals against the Gunners during the second leg, which took place at the Emirates Stadium.

Chelsea on the other hand beat Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 on aggregate to progress to the final. The Blues scored in both legs.

Key Battle: The two defences

Liverpool and Chelsea came up against each other back in January at Stamford Bridge. The Reds got off to a flyer in the aforementioned Premier League fixture.

After 26 minutes, the Reds were 2-0 up thanks to Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.

However, right before half-time, Blues duo Mateo Kovacic and Christian Pulisic both scored goals to level the game up at 2-2. That was the final score.

Both defences on the night looked a tad shaky. If one side is slightly off defensively come Sunday, we do expect the other team to exploit that.

Virgil van Dijk

Team News:

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has made it clear that reserve goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher will start against Chelsea.

However, it has not been confirmed if Roberto Firmino and Jota are available for the final. Both players suffered respective injuries against Inter Milan at the San Siro last week. Neither Firmino or Jota have played since.

As for Chelsea, Hakim Ziyech and Kovacic were both withdrawn against Lille at Stamford Bridge due to injuries earlier this week. Therefore, they are both doubts for the final.

Jurgen Klopp's view:

Klopp is certainly desperate to win the trophy, and we don't blame him. He has never won the League Cup before.

Klopp did get close in 2016, but his Liverpool team lost the final to Manchester City 3-1 on penalties at Wembley Stadium.

As quoted by Anfield Watch's Twitter account, the 54-year-old told the club's official website the following: "It would mean everything. It’s really big. I can understand that people think it’s because we are not bothered but that is not true and was never true. That makes it even sweeter that we now made it [to the final]."

Previous Meeting:

We have already written about Liverpool's previous meeting with Chelsea. Therefore, we have decided to have a look at the first Premier League clash between the Reds and the Blues this season.

Back in August 2021, Liverpool welcomed Chelsea to Anfield. Similar to the fixture between the two clubs in January, the game was a tight contest.

Chelsea midfielder Kai Havertz gave his side the lead after 22 minutes of action. However, Mohamed Salah's penalty right before half-time got Liverpool level.

The game finished in a 1-1 draw.

Prediction

Liverpool have won the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup and Premier League title under Klopp.

Chelsea on the other hand have won the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup under Thomas Tuchel in the past nine months.

Both sides know how to win, which should make it an intriguing final.

As we have already pointed out, the two Premier League fixtures between Liverpool and Chelsea this season have both ended in draws.

But, we are confident that if the Reds can play anywhere near their best and Salah performs, they will secure the victory.

It is common knowledge that the Egyptian international possesses the biggest threat out of all the Liverpool and Chelsea players that take to the pitch on Sunday. He is that good.

Salah has scored 152 goals and registered 57 assists in 234 appearances for the Reds. We will back the 29-year-old in to deliver again.

But, only time will tell what the result will be.

Liverpool 2 Chelsea 1

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