EFL Cup final: Pochettino hoping to make it a Blue Monday for Klopp & Co. 

2 min read

This Sunday sees the first cup final of the season as the EFL Cup draws to its conclusion at Wembley, and there are two familiar foes battling it out for the first taste of silverware in 2024. 

Chelsea and Liverpool met in the final of this very competition just two seasons ago, before going toe-to-toe once more in the FA Cup final only months later at the end of the 2021/22 campaign. Both times, the game ended goalless in 90 minutes and had to be settled on penalties and both times, it was Liverpool who departed the national stadium with the trophy.

This weekend’s finale has come at a point in time where for many the outcome looks certain to be the same. Liverpool are riding high at the moment, sitting pretty at the top of the Premier League having lost just two top-flight games all season. The Reds have been rampant and defiant in front of goal whilst remaining diligent and almost impossible to break down defensively, with only Arsenal boasting a superior defensive record after 25 games. 

Such is the nature of that on-pitch impressiveness, Jurgen Klopp – now into his final six months in charge of the club he has helped elevate back towards the upper echelons of footballing royalty after several prolonged, trophyless years of misery – finds his beloved team in the box seat to win England’s elite division, albeit only just, with Manchester City a solitary point behind them at the time of writing following their victory over Brentford on Tuesday night. 

They are also favourites to win the Europa League and will be heavily backed to beat Southampton in the fifth-round of the FA Cup at the end of this month, and will be determined to provide their long-standing and adored head coach with the send off he deserves when he exits Anfield in the summer following nine hugely successful seasons of performing magic in Merseyside. 

Whilst winning an unprecedented quadruple is still currently possible, it will take some doing. No club in English football history has ever achieved such a feat and Liverpool’s chances of doing so are slim given just how many obstacles they would have to overcome in order to do so. 

Winning this Sunday’s EFL Cup final, however, would certainly provide them with a huge amount of confidence and momentum ahead of a frenetic final furlong where three more trophies would remain up for grabs.  

Liverpool’s opponents on Saturday may be slight underdogs on paper but will by no means be easy to overcome. Chelsea are transitioning slowly under Mauricio Pochettino and whilst consistency is still firmly lacking for the west London club, there is no doubt that they are beginning to improve under the Argentine. 

Last weekend’s performance away at Manchester City – where the Blues came away from the Etihad with a point after an impressive performance – showed signs of exactly what this Chelsea side could be if they could put a run together and start to gain some proper momentum: intense, precise and robust.

But for a typically crucial bail out from clutch-moment relisher Rodri in the final 10 minutes, Chelsea could have easily claimed all three points and for large parts of the game were undoubtedly the better team in east Manchester.  

Now, the only question which remains is whether Pochettino’s men have the gumption to break their recent Wembley curse and avenge themselves for the heartache of yesteryear – or if Klopp’s crusaders will leave Chelsea feeling blue once again.


Chelsea 15:00 Liverpool

Premier League Gameweek 26 – Fixtures in full


Aston Villa 15:00 Nottingham Forest

Brighton & Hove Albion 15:00 Everton

Crystal Palace 15:00 Burnley

Manchester United 15:00 Fulham

AFC Bournemouth 17:30 Manchester City

Arsenal 20:00 Newcastle United


Wolverhampton Wanderers 13:30 Sheffield United


West Ham United 20:00 Brentford

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