Could Jurgen Klopp be lifting his final trophy as Reds manager after the Carabao Cup final?


Earlier in the season, Liverpool winning this fixture would be close to a foregone conclusion.

While Jurgen Klopp’s side should still be highly confident of beating Chelsea in the third cup final meeting between the teams in the last two years.

The Londoners have put together a string of good performances recently and can go into the final with hope of causing an upset.

On the back of an impressive away win against high-flying Aston Villa in the FA Cup, a last minute victory at Selhurst Park and a decent point at the Etihad against Manchester City, Mauricio Pochettino has bought himself some more time to turn Chelsea’s fortunes around after the club’s drab first 18 months under Todd Boehly’s tenure.

While Chelsea are 10th in the league, going into a final against the top team in the division, they have players who know how to win trophies, which isn’t usually the case for a mid-table team when it comes to a cup final.

During a good season last season, Newcastle United’s failure to overcome Manchester United in the Carabao Cup final was partly down to the majority of the players lacking in big game experience.

Chelsea don’t have that problem. The likes of Fernandez and Sterling know how to get over the line in big finals, with the Argentine doing so in the World Cup final in 2022, and Sterling doing so numerous times for Manchester City.

Cole Palmer, while a bit part player during his time with the current Premier League champions, also has experience of winning trophies and scored in the UEFA Super Cup victory against Sevilla two weeks before his £40m move to Chelsea.

It’s #CarabaoCupFinal weekend! ????#CFC

— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) February 23, 2024

With 12 goals in 29 games for Chelsea this season, a good performance from the 21-year-old could be the difference maker in this game.

Notwithstanding the five-time champion’s newly found form, Liverpool have been excellent for the whole season.

In addition to them looking close to how they looked over their peak years under Jurgen Klopp’s reign, the players have an added incentive to try and make the German manager’s final season at Anfield one to remember.

Still on track to win a quadruple of sorts, with them competing in the Europa League this season, their recent win against Chelsea will make them fancy their chances of coming out victorious.

The 4-1 drubbing, while at home, will make them optimistic ahead of Sunday’s game at a neutral venue, the 17th League Cup final to take place at the new Wembley Stadium.

While it looks likely that Klopp will be lifting what would be his 8th, and possibly last trophy as manager of Liverpool, the final looks to be one of intrigue.

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But it could go still in Chelsea’s favour if they are able to be resolute defensively, and be more clinical in front of goal than they were in their last game against Manchester City.

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