Following their 1-1 draw at Craven Cottage, Liverpool have cemented their spot in the first final of the year. While the EFL Cup is not the most esteemed title, it is an early chance to pocket silverware and often acts as a momentum-builder for teams to push on toward the back end of the Premier League campaign. Can the Reds beat Mauricio Pochettino’s Chelsea?
Can Liverpool claim a 10th title?
It’s been a scintillating season for Jurgen Klopp’s men thus far, seeing them emerge as early favourites in the football betting odds to lift the EFL Cup at 1/2, with Chelsea 4/6 underdogs.
Their season has been underlined by a defensive resilience we wouldn’t necessarily associate with a Klopp team. However, with the fewest goals conceded in the division, Liverpool have surfaced as the second-favourite to win the league based on the Premier League 2023/24 title odds at 23/10, with only Manchester City above them at 4/6.
Klopp is synonymous with building dynamic, attacking teams. While Liverpool have maintained their prowess in front of goal, they have also steadied the ship at the back. This is mightily impressive given their defence has been ravaged by injuries this campaign.
The narrative over the coming weeks will largely surround the fitness of star man Mo Salah, who picked up a knock on international duty. The Egyptian has scored 18 goals in all competitions thus far and is so often the man Liverpool look to when tasked with unlocking a defence.
Fans will be desperate to see him walking out of the tunnel at Wembley, but even without their talisman, they will remain favourites to lift the trophy. They have secured the EFL Cup nine times in their illustrious history – no team has won it more – most recently in 2022 when they beat Chelsea on penalties. The Reds have every reason to be confident going into this mammoth clash.
Wembley bound pic.twitter.com/LVsO9nSSzX— Liverpool FC (@LFC) January 25, 2024
Pochettino’s Chelsea: a tough task
Pochettino has had the difficult task of welding together a squad littered with new signings and hampered by injuries. The result: an absolute mystery on the pitch. You never quite know what you’ll get when watching the Blues.
At the start of the campaign, they won just once in six games, including a woeful home defeat against Nottingham Forest. Next thing you know, they go toe-to-toe with City in an unbelievable 4-4 draw at Stamford Bridge.
On their day, in a one-off game at Wembley, you get the feeling they could beat anyone. However, their record at Wembley doesn’t make for good reading. Since the 2018-19 season, Chelsea have appeared in five domestic cup finals. They have lost all five, including two penalty shoot-out losses against, you guessed it, Liverpool.
Everything you need to know about the EFL Cup final
Liverpool will take on Chelsea in the EFL Cup final on Sunday 25th February at Wembley Stadium, with kick-off scheduled for 15:00.
Liverpool are the favourites as they go in search of a 10th EFL Cup title, having lifted the trophy on four occasions since the turn of the millennium.
Chelsea are the competition’s joint fourth most decorated club and are looking to win their sixth trophy. They last lifted the Cup in 2015, losing twice in the final since that 2-0 win over London rivals Tottenham.
It’s gearing up to be a classic between two heavyweights, one which could spur Liverpool on the lift the Premier League title should they come out on top.