On Sunday afternoon, Chelsea will take on Liverpool at Wembley in the Carabao Cup Final. The two teams, second and third in the Premier League, have made it through four rounds of games to earn a shot at the first silverware of the new season.

With Manchester City dominating this trophy in recent years, this is a chance for both these teams to add more silverware to the trophy cabinet and with bot very much still embroiled in other competitions too, it could be the first of more than one big trophy win this season.

The two teams have met twice this season in the Premier League with both games finishing as a draw. They drew 1-1 at Anfield, but then also drew 2-2 at Stamford Bridge in the New Year. So with little between them, Sunday’s final promises to be an exciting and closely contested affair.

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Last year’s final came later in the year and saw Manchester City and Tottenham contest the final at Wembley, with Aymeric Laporte’s late header being enough to give City their sixth win in eight seasons in the competition and their fourth in succession.

These two teams have contested a final before, back in 2005, when the game finished 1-1 and went to extra time, where Chelsea secured a 3-2 victory over the Reds.

Let’s now take a look at how both reached the final, starting with Chelsea.

How Both Teams Reached The Final

Chelsea

  • Third Round – v Aston Villa (H) – D 1-1 (W 4-3 pens) – (Werner 54)
  • Fourth Round – v Southampton (H) – D 1-1 (W 4-3 on pens) – (Havertz 44)
  • Quarter Finals – v Brentford (A) – W 2-0 (Jansson OG 80, Jorginho 85 (pen.))
  • Semi Finals 1st Leg – v Tottenham (H) W 2-0 (Havertz 5, Davies OG 34)
  • Semi Finals 2nd Leg – v Tottenham (A) W 1-0 (Rudiger 18) – Won 3-0 on aggregate

Chelsea made heavy weather of their opening two rounds in this tournament, requiring penalties to beat both Aston Villa and Southampton. They then scored a win over Brentford late on due to an own goal and a penalty.

However, they looked much more on the ball against Spurs in the semi final where a 2-0 first leg win at Stamford Bridge was followed by a 1-0 win in the away leg as the Londoners moved into the final with a comfortable 3-0 aggregate win.

Liverpool

  • Third Round – v Norwich C (A) – W 3-0 (Minamino 4, 80, Origi 50)
  • Fourth Round – v Preston NE (A) – W 2-0 (Minamino 62, Origi 84)
  • Quarter Finals – v Leicester (H) – D 3-3 (W 5-4 pens) – (Oxlade-Chamberlain 19, Jota 68, Minamino 90)
  • Semi Finals 1st Leg – v Arsenal (H) – D 0-0
  • Semi Finals 2nd Leg – v Arsenal (A) – W 2-0 (Jota 19,77) – W 2-0 on aggregate

Liverpool’s second string side moved through the opening two rounds of the competition comfortably with away wins over Norwich and Preston with Minamino and Origi providing all the goals in these games.

The Reds looked in deep trouble at home to Leicester when trailing 3-1 but battled back to level the game in injury time and then they clinched the win on penalties to set up a two-legged semifinal against Arsenal.

A 0-0 draw at Anfield looked like it had set up a tricky second leg in London, but the Reds played superbly well at the Emirates and earned a 2-0 win thanks to a brace from Diogo Jota.

Chelsea Preview

Chelsea Squad

Goalkeepers

  • Kepa Arrizabalaga
  • Eduoard Mendy
  • Marcus Bettinelli

Defenders

  • Antonio Rudiger
  • Marcos Alonso
  • Andreas Christensen
  • Thiago Silva
  • Trevor Chalobah
  • Ben Chilwell (Inj)
  • Reece James
  • Malang Sarr
  • Cesar Azpilicueta (Capt)

Midfielders

  • Jorginho
  • N’Golo Kante
  • Mateo Kovacic
  • Ruben Loftus-Cheek
  • Saul Niguez
  • Ross Barkley
  • Mason Mount
  • Hakim Ziyech
  • Kenedy
  • Kai Havertz

Forwards

  • Romelu Lukaku
  • Christian Pulisic
  • Timo Werner
  • Callum Hudson-Odoi

Manager

  • Thomas Tuchel

With Reece James and Ben Chilwell out, Chelsea’s biggest issue is in the full back position, where Alonso and probably Azpilicueta will start, given their defensive ability against Liverpool’s dangerous wide players.

The other spots up for grabs are in attack where Romelu Lukaku’s lack of form and goals has meant Chelsea considering playing with a false-nine. If they do that, then Havertz could start in a more advanced role with Pulisic coming into the team for Lukaku.

However, I think benching Lukaku for this game would send out a lot of wrong signals and as such, I think he will get the nod here, with Pulisic starting on the bench.

Mateo Kovacic and Hakin Ziyech were both withdrawn due to injury in the Champions League in midweek and both are now doubts for Sunday’s game.

Chelsea Predicted XI– (5-4-1) – Kepa, Rudiger, Thiago Silva, Christensen, Azpilicueta, Alonso, Kante, Jorginho, Mount, Havertz, Lukaku.

Liverpool Preview

Liverpool Squad

Goalkeepers

  • Alisson
  • Adrian
  • Caoimhin Kelleher

Defenders

  • Virgil van Dijk
  • Ibrahima Konate
  • Joe Gomez
  • Kostas Tsimikas
  • Andrew Robertson
  • Joel Matip
  • Rhys Williams
  • Trent Alexander Arnold
  • Conor Bradley

Midfielders

  • Fabinho
  • Thiago
  • James Milner
  • Naby Keita
  • Jordan Henderson
  • Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
  • Curtis Jones
  • Harvey Elliott
  • Tyler Morton

Forwards

  • Roberto Firmino (Inj)
  • Sadio Mane
  • Mo Salah
  • Diogo Jota (Inj)
  • Luis Diaz
  • Divock Origi
  • Takumi Minamino
  • Kaide Gordon

Manager

  • Jurgen Klopp

Jurgen Klopp has injury worries over Roberto Firmino and Diego Jota for this game, both could be fit, but it is unlikely that either will be fit enough to start the game and with a hectic set of fixtures ahead, Klopp may not want to risk either of them here.

That means Luis Diaz may well get a start in attack alongside Mane and Salah for the Reds and with Caoimhin Kelleher already being told he will start, it is likely the Reds will go with a full-strength back four here with either Matip or Konate starting alongside van Dijk, Robertson and Alexander Arnold.

The real question is who Liverpool play in midfield, Fabinho looks like he is first choice there now and with Jordan Henderson rested in midweek, I’d expect him to start with Thiago or Naby Keita getting the nod from he start.

Liverpool’s Predicted XI (4-3-3) – Kelleher, Alexander-Arnold, Robertson, van Dijk, Konate, Fabinho, Henderson, Thiago, Diaz, Mane, Salah.

Chelsea V Liverpool – Latest Betting Odds & Tips

These two teams have become something of fierce rivals in cup competitions in the last couple of decades and honours have been relatively even between the two teams and that was the case this season too with those two draws in the Premier League.

On paper, there’s not much to choose between the two teams, although it has to be said that recent form does tend to favour Liverpool, who have been in superb form of late, while Chelsea have stumbled to a number of drawn games, especially in the Premier League.

I also feel that Chelsea’s attack isn’t quite as dangerous as it should be, not a criticism you can level at Liverpool who smashed in six in midweek against Leeds in the run up to this game.

As such, I think the odds on Liverpool at 11/8 are about right and I am going to back them to land the win here.