February 22, 2024

Liverpool news: Jurgen Klopp kicks off Chelsea mind games ahead of Carabao Cup final | Football | Sport

Jurgen Klopp has started the mind games ahead of this weekend’s Carabao Cup final by insisting that his Liverpool side will not be the favourites under the Wembley arch. The Reds will face Chelsea in a repeat of the 2022 final, which Liverpool won on penalties following a goalless draw after 120 minutes of football.

Liverpool have been widely tipped as the heavy favourites to beat Chelsea again due to their impressive form, which sees them sitting four points clear of Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table. Chelsea, meanwhile, have endured a torrid campaign by their standards and remain stuck in mid-table after winning just 10 games all season.

Speaking after Liverpool’s victory over Luton Town on Wednesday night, Klopp insisted that his side will not go into the match as ‘big favourites’ despite the current gulf in class between themselves and Chelsea.

He said: “As long as we have 11 players we will go for it. Will we be big favourites? Definitely not. Since we played them [Chelsea] they have improved a lot and it will be tricky.”

Liverpool have not lost to Chelsea in any of the last eight meetings between the clubs, a run which stretches back to 2021. Earlier this season, they played out a 1-1 draw on the opening day of the campaign before Liverpool romped to a 4-1 victory in the reverse fixture last month.

Chelsea have taken four points from their last two league outings, with the Blues cruising to a 3-1 win over Crystal Palace before holding Manchester City to a draw at the Etihad Stadium. However, it seems clear that Liverpool will go into the Carabao Cup final as the favourites to win despite Klopp insisting otherwise.

The Reds will be missing a number of players, with Trent Alexander-Arnold their biggest absentee after an existing knee problem flared up earlier this month. Dominic Szoboszlai could also be a doubt for the match, while the likes of Curtis Jones and Darwin Nunez will be hoping to recover from the knocks they picked up against Brentford last weekend.

Chelsea have also suffered from their fair share of injuries this season, with Benoit Badiashile and Thiago Silva in a race against time to recover from similar groin problems. Romeo Lavia, Reece James, Robert Sanchez, Wesley Fofana, Marc Cucurella and Lesley Ugochukwu are all long-term absentees and will definitely not be involved for the Blues at Wembley.

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