Liverpool will play Chelsea in EFL Final

Chelsea and Liverpool will face off at Wembley on Sunday afternoon in a rematch of the 2021–22 EFL Cup final, vying for the right to win the first domestic trophy of the 2023–24 campaign

(Football news) Even if their list of missing players currently numbers in the double digits, Liverpool is most people’s pick to send their opponents home empty-handed once again after breaking Chelsea’s hearts in a penalty shootout two years ago.

Mauricio Pochettino, the current Chelsea head coach, is possibly just 90 or 120 minutes away from winning a major honour in English football, which many did not think the mid-table Blues had a chance of winning when the season started. Pochettino had five stellar but agonisingly trophy-less years as the head coach of Tottenham Hotspur.

Chelsea have also been forced to navigate their way around an additional contest in comparison to Liverpool owing to their failure to qualify for Europe, but AFC Wimbledon, Brighton & Hove Albion, Newcastle United, Blackburn Rovers and Middlesbrough have all tried and failed to block the Blues’ path to Wembley.

Michael Carrick’s Boro led at half time in their two-legged semi-final thanks to a 1-0 Riverside success, but Chelsea responded emphatically with a 6-1 Stamford Bridge slaughter to reach EFL Cup final number 10, where they will endeavour to collect their winners’ medals for the sixth time in tournament history.

Both of the Blues’ last two appearances in the EFL Cup showpiece have ended in penalty-shootout despair, though, and a new page of unwanted English football history could now be written by Chelsea, who are at risk of becoming the first team in the land to ever lose six domestic cup finals on the trot.

In brighter news, Pochettino’s men bring a three-game unbeaten run with them to Wembley – securing back-to-back 3-1 wins over Aston Villa (FA Cup) and Crystal Palace (Premier League) before swallowing a bitter pill in a hard-earned 1-1 draw with Manchester City – the latter of which saw a deflected Rodri strike penetrate the Blues’ seemingly unbreakable backline.

None of Leicester City, Bournemouth, West Ham United or Fulham faced an unbreakable Liverpool backline, meanwhile, but despite conceding in all of their EFL Cup affairs so far this season, the Reds’ propensity for multiple-goal showings and terrific turnarounds puts them on the brink of the first step towards a famous quadruple.

Jurgen Klopp will be manning his technical area for the final time in EFL Cup circumstances on Sunday afternoon, where Liverpool will bid to reach double figures in tournament successes – already hoisting the crown aloft an unparalleled nine times – and a 14th appearance in the final will also be a record-extending achievement.

Only four of the Reds’ previous 13 outings in the EFL Cup showpiece have seen them come out second best, but the travelling fans may be in it for the long haul once again this weekend, as each of their side’s last three appearances in the final have seen the destiny of the title decided by spot kicks.

Still vying for Premier League, Europa League and FA Cup glory at this juncture, Liverpool trek south on the back of three successive triumphs over Burnley, Brentford and Luton Town – notching at least three goals in each of those victories – although each of their last seven contests has seen Klopp’s men both score and concede.

One of those games, though, was their devastating 4-1 Premier League victory over Chelsea at Anfield in January. That victory halted a run of seven consecutive draws between the two teams after ninety minutes and extended their unbeaten streak over the West London team to eight games. 

Retaliation will be the order of the day for those wearing blue, though, as two of those draws occurred at Wembley in 2022 when Chelsea lost the FA Cup and EFL Cup at the last 12-yard line.

Also read: Wolves will play Sheffield United in EPL


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