Liverpool vs Chelsea: League Cup Final Preview, team news, and predicted line-ups

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For the first time in 4 years, a club not named Manchester City will be lifting the League Cup as Liverpool and Chelsea contest this season’s final. The Premier League giants will lock horns on Sunday in the final showdown at Wembley stadium. Liverpool have once again come alive in the title race with just three points behind leaders Manchester City. Chelsea’s title charge is all but over after trailing City by 13 points though a game in hand. The Blues will be hoping to win the remaining competitions in which they are alive, starting from this League Cup final.

Liverpool are the record holders of the League Cup, having won the competition 8 times. However, their last victory in a League Cup final came in 2012. The Reds will be full of energy going into this final given their title hopes are also back on track. Moreover, they face Chelsea on the back of a 6-0 thrashing of Leeds in the Premier League. Liverpool overcame a resilient Arsenal in the two-legged semi-final with an aggregate score of will be high and roaring taking the field on Sunday.

Liverpool recent form in all competitions: W W W W W

Chelsea are firing all cylinders, except the Premier League’s. Despite a disappointing league campaign, the Blues are alive and kicking in three competitions. The FA Cup, Champions League and League Cup are the trophies Chelsea are fighting for. Chelsea have done a great job in the League Cup so far knocking-out 4 Premier League teams since the third round. The League Cup final on Sunday will be Chelsea’s second in three years, after they lost it last time out against Manchester City in 2019.

Chelsea recent form in all competitions: W W W W W

Liverpool vs Chelsea: Team News for League Cup final

The Red’s team news

There is growing fear that Liverpool could be left without both of their first-choice strikers in the final. The Reds were dealt a huge blow as Roberto Firmino was ruled out of Sunday’s clash. The striker suffered a muscle injury and hasn’t played since Liverpool’s round of 16 first-leg win over Inter. Firmino was pushing hard to be fit for the League Cup final but the club has confirmed that he will miss the game. On-fire striker Diogo Jota could also miss the final due to an ankle injury.

However, assistant manager Pepijn Lijnders has provided a positive update on Jota. “Jota isn’t ruled out but still it will be a challenge,” said Lijnders. His comments suggest that Jota could play some minutes in the final. Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has emphasized that Kelleher ‘deserves’ to start the final over Alisson as he has performed well throughout the competition.

Liverpool possible starting line-up

Kelleher; Alexander Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson; Fabinho; Thiago Alcantara; Salah, Origi, Sadio Mane

The Blues’ team news

Chelsea boss Tuchel has a lot of decisions to make ahead of the League Cup final. Reece James, Mason Mount, Hakim Ziyech and Mateo Kovacic are all doubts. Reece James is out since last December, whereas Mason Mount suffered an ankle injury during the Club World Cup. However Mount could play given he was named in the squad against Lille. Ziyech and Kovacic came-off injured against Lille but have trained with the team ahead of the final.

Lukaku was rested against Lille after his horrific 7-touch performance against Crystal Palace. Tuchel said that both Lukaku and Jorginho look tired and needed rest. Unlike Klopp, Tuchel has refused to reveal who will start in the goal. Kepa has played the League Cup games, but Mendy could replace him for the final, as it happened in the Club World Cup.

Chelsea possible starting line-up

Edouard Mendy; Christensen, Thiago Silva, Rudiger; Azpilicueta, N’Golo Kante, Kovacic, Hudson-Odoi; Mason Mount, Kai Havertz, Pulisic

Our Prediction

Liverpool 2-1 Chelsea

Though Chelsea have looked a completely different team in cup games, Liverpool have all the armory to win their first League Cup since 2012. However, the final would be close-call, but Liverpool look all set to lift the League Cup. Chelsea could have a say in the game, but they look quite worn-out at the moment, contrary to Liverpool who slotted past 6 goals against Leeds in their last game. Wembley never disappoints and we could have an end-to-end final on our hands.

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