Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool are set to face Chelsea in this year’s League Cup final which will mark the third time the pair have met at the latter stage of the competition.
Liverpool will hope the tie against Chelsea at Wembley this time around will serve as an ideal first step to a fairytale quadruple pursuit.
If Klopp’s aspirations in his final season are realised, then a League Cup victory would be one of the more minor prizes in a potential four-trophy haul.
Nevertheless, the club maintains a long-term rivalry with the West London side, and anything else can go ahead in the pair’s head-to-head record in League Cup final meetings.
Liverpool are big favourites this year
Liverpool are clear favourites ahead of the final against Mauricio Pochettino’s struggling Chelsea team. Many of the major bookmakers in the United Kingdom offer Liverpool as odds-on betting leaders for the February final. For example, BetVictor offers Klopp’s team as short as 8/15 to defeat their London rivals in normal time.
The third League Cup final between the pair will see the Reds take on what is undoubtedly a weaker Chelsea team compared to the ones led by Jose Mourinho and Thomas Tuchel in the past.
The previous fixtures were tough-fought battles as Chelsea were managed by strong defensive managers, while Pochettino is yet to settle on a consistent lineup or style with the West London outfit.
Looking back at the 2004/05 and 2021/22 finals between Liverpool and Chelsea, the favourites came out on top in both and perhaps that is an indication that in 2024 the script could go as planned yet again.
The 2004/05 final under Benitez
Liverpool and Chelsea met for the first time in the League Cup in 2004/05. At the point in the season when the Carling Cup final took place, Liverpool were comfortably positioned outside of the top four, and Chelsea were racing towards the Premier League title under Mourinho.
The Blues were certainly expected to dominate the final for those reasons, although in reality, Benitez’s side created a fierce battle for the first domestic honour of the season.
Liverpool took the lead at the Millennium Stadium inside the first minute through John Arne Riise’s spectacular volley, which served as the only goal until Gerrard scored an unfortunate own goal late on.
Chelsea went on to win the game in extra time 3-2 against a fatigued Reds team with goals from Didier Drogba and Mateja Kezman.
The recent 2021/22 meeting
The second edition of a Liverpool-Chelsea League Cup final came in 2022, and it was the first under the Carabao sponsorship. This one will certainly fit more firmly in the memory of fans as it came in a recent, unforgettable campaign.
The roles had flipped in the 17 years since the first League Cup final between the duo. Liverpool was fighting for the League title and Tuchel’s Chelsea were top four battlers.
This meant that Klopp’s side were significant favourites although that final also turned out to be a long drawn-out contest.
The game remained goalless right up until a decisive penalty shootout in which goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga missed the crucial kick in sudden death for Chelsea.
Kepa MISSES his penalty and Liverpool WIN the League Cup! pic.twitter.com/vAqkzR0xTA— Matchday365 (@Matchday365) February 27, 2022
The two finals between Liverpool and Chelsea so far have displayed similar themes. The favourites eventually earned their victory but had to fight deep into additional time for it.
Liverpool will hope that theme partially comes to an end this year and that they can avoid the dramatics of extra time and penalties. Klopp is poised to end mark his final Carabao Cup fixture perfectly as his team are thoroughly expected to lift the trophy on February 25th.