Chelsea vs Liverpool Carabao Cup final Preview – Team News, Predicted Lineups, Key Players

The 2024/25 Carabao Cup final will pit Chelsea against Liverpool at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.

sterling chelsea

Mauricio Pochettino, who became the Chelsea manager last summer, can win his first trophy in England after previous spells in charge of Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur, while Jurgen Klopp will be desperate to end his Liverpool career on a high.

The Reds head into the Carabao Cup final off the back of a 4-1 league win over Luton Town in midweek, whereas the Blues held Manchester City to a 1-1 draw at the Etihad Stadium last weekend.

Chelsea vs Liverpool—Team News


Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino has confirmed that Thiago Silva has a chance to prove his fitness in time against Liverpool after missing the 1-1 draw with Man City with a groin problem. Goalkeeper Robert Sanchez has recovered fully from his injury that kept him out since early December and will be in contention to face Jurgen Klopp’s side.

The Pensioners are expected to have at least seven players sidelined for the Carabao Cup final, with the likes of skipper Reece James, Carney Chukwuemeka, Marc Cucurella, Lesley Ugochukwu, Benoit Badiashile, Wesley Fofana and Romeo Lavia all out injured.

Djordje Petrovic has deputised extremely well in the injury absence of Sanchez since early December, and the Serbian is likely to get the nod to start in goal in the cup final. Thiago Silva may recover from a groin problem in time and travel with the squad, but Pochettino could go with the centre-back pairing of Axel Disasi and Levi Colwill. Malo Gusto and Ben Chilwell should take the right-back and left-back spots, respectively.

Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo have no reason to worry about their positions in the first XI, with Conor Gallagher acting as the link between the midfield and attack. The England international will take up the No.10 role, hoping to add energy and creativity as well as link up play with wide attackers Cole Palmer and Raheem Sterling to unlock the Liverpool defence.

Despite missing some gilt-edged chances against Man City, Nicolas Jackson should continue leading the Chelsea attack, with Christopher Nkunku, Mykhaylo Mudryk and Noni Madueke offering firepower from the bench.


Pep Lijnders, Jurgen Klopp’s assistant manager, confirmed during his pre-match presser that Liverpool will give Darwin Nunez, Mohamed Salah and Dominik Szoboszlai as much time as possible to prove their fitness ahead of the Carabao Cup final after injury problems. Szoboszlai has missed the last few games with a hamstring injury, while Salah and Nunez were absent from the 4-1 win over Luton with muscle and knock, respectively.

But Curtis Jones has joined Thiago Alcantara, Alisson Becker, Stefan Bajcetic, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Diogo Jota on the sidelines, so several youngsters are expected to be part of the Liverpool bench on Sunday.

In Alisson’s absence, Caoimhin Kelleher will start in goal, protected by the back four of Conor Bradley, Ibrahima Konate, Virgil van Dijk and Andy Robertson. Wataru Endo’s return from the Asian Cup earlier this month has brought balance to Liverpool’s midfield, whilst providing Alexis Mac Allister with the freedom to push forward and get involved more in the final third. Ryan Gravenberch, meanwhile, is expected to start for the injured Jones in the middle of the park.

Even if Mo Salah and Darwin Nunez are passed fit, Jurgen Klopp is unlikely to risk the duo from the start. This means the Reds could employ a front three of Harvey Elliot, Cody Gakpo and Luis Diaz. Gakpo would lead the Liverpool attack, flanked by Elliot and Diaz.

Chelsea vs Liverpool—Predicted Lineups

Chelsea Predicted Lineup (4-2-3-1): Petrovic, Gusto, Disasi, Colwill, Chilwell; Fernandez, Caicedo; Palmer, Gallagher, Sterling; Jackson

Liverpool Predicted Lineup (4-3-3): Kelleher, Bradley, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Mac Allister, Endo, Gravenberch; Elliot, Gakpo, Diaz

Chelsea vs Liverpool—Key Players

Chelsea—Cole Palmer

Cole Palmer has been Chelsea’s standout player in a very disappointing season so far. He is one of the most productive attackers in the Premier League this term, bagging 10 goals and six assists in 21 appearances. The Englishman isn’t a player who sits in midfield and controls the tempo of play, but he is silky with the ball at his feet, exciting, creative and effective in what he does. Chelsea’s success on Sunday might largely depend on how Palmer performs.

Liverpool—Virgil van Dijk

Virgil van Dijk liverpool

Virgil van Dijk will be leading the Liverpool team out on Sunday for the first time in a major final, having taken over the captaincy armband following Jordan Henderson’s departure last summer. The Dutchman has been a rock at the back this season, marshalling his troops well, dominating aerial duels and initiating plenty of attacks. Apart from his proactive defending, he will be a massive threat from set-pieces, as demonstrated by his equaliser in the Reds’ 4-1 win over Luton in midweek.

Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Liverpool

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