Poch picks Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool as favourites for Carabao Cup

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino has offered a response to Jurgen Klopp’s assertion that Liverpool is not the favourite for the Carabao Cup final.

However, the Premier League standings paint a contrasting picture, with Liverpool holding a commanding lead of 25 points over Pochettino’s Chelsea, who currently sit in 10th place.


However, with Liverpool in the midst of an injury crisis, Klopp recently said, “Will we be big favourites? Definitely not. Since we played them (Chelsea), they have improved a lot, and it will be tricky.”

Pochettino has now responded to Klopp’s comments at his pre-final press conference, hinting that the German might be playing mind games ahead of their Wembley showdown.


“Because he’s one of the best, with Pep, coaches in the world. He’s clever enough,” he began. “He knows that when you play a final, circumstances can happen. If they are not favourites, we are not favourites [laughs]. They have the experience to compete like a team, be involved in different finals. For some of us, it’s maybe their first final. He is clever enough.”

The Reds will be missing key players such as Trent Alexander-Arnold, Alisson Becker, Curtis Jones, and Diogo Jota for the final. However, Klopp remains hopeful that Darwin Nunez, Mohamed Salah, and Dominik Szoboszlai, who were absent during Wednesday’s victory over Luton Town, might still play a role in some capacity.

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Thiago Silva’s availability for Chelsea is uncertain, although Pochettino refrained from definitively ruling out the Brazilian for Sunday’s highly-anticipated clash.

This marks the third meeting between Liverpool and Chelsea in the League Cup final. Chelsea secured victory after extra time in 2005, marking Jose Mourinho’s inaugural trophy at Stamford Bridge. In 2022, Liverpool emerged triumphant, with stand-in goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher scoring the decisive penalty in a thrilling shootout.

All eyes will be on Wembley this weekend for what promises to be a captivating final.

Following the match, Chelsea will turn their attention to FA Cup action against Leeds United the following Wednesday, aiming to remain competitive in pursuit of additional silverware during what has been a challenging season.

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