• Friday, April 19, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Carabao Cup final: Will Pochettino win first English trophy against Liverpool?

Pochettino-Klopp

Wembley Stadium comes alive on Sunday as Chelsea and Liverpool battle it out in the final of the 2023/24 Carabao Cup as Blues manager Mauricio Pochettino will be aiming to win his first trophy in English football.

The 51-year-old Argentine tactician went close on numerous occasions during his time in charge of Tottenham Hotspur, falling short in two Premier League title chases, reaching a Champions League final, a League Cup final and losing two FA Cup semi-finals.

This could be a repeat of the 2021/22 Carabao Cup final as both teams fight for the right to lift the first domestic honour of the 2023/24 season.

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool men defeated Chelsea in a penalty shootout two years ago, Blues will be seeking revenge at Wembley.

While Liverpool have been fairly dominant in domestic competitions so far, Chelsea have plenty of work to do to redeem themselves this season.

Chelsea find themselves in 10th place in Premier League standings and are only beginning to find their feet under Mauricio Pochettino.

They managed to keep Manchester City to a 1-1 draw last week and will now need to get the better of another powerful opponent on Sunday.

After five trophyless years as Tottenham Hotspur’s head coach, current Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino will be aiming to win a major trophy in English football.

The Blues go into the final as big underdogs following last month’s humbling at Anfield. However, Chelsea have turned their fortunes around since that night in Liverpool and a different side will face the Reds at Wembley.

Pochettino, who is looking to win his first major trophy in England, will be hoping his side can continue their bravery and free-flowing football on the pitch on Sunday. With that said, you can read the full transcript from the Argentine below.

“Yes, it is true because it is never the same approach when you play in the Premier League or the final, ” Pochettino said in his pre-match conference.

“Of course, it is going to be different. You of course learn from the games that you play, too many things.

“We arrive at this game with different circumstances and now the circumstances have changed and it is difficult to compare and to say that it is going to influence the game we played in the past.

“What you learn is that Liverpool is a very competitive team and how they can play well, so well, very good and not so good, but they are always going to be competitive. We need to be competitive, and ready to manage some moments during the games.

“It’s like a click to change in the way to compete that we were missing maybe in the first part of the season, but it is going to be completely different because it’s a final and it is at Wembley.”

Chelsea have lost their last five domestic Cup finals at Wembley, including the League Cup and FA Cup to Liverpool in 2021-22, both matches decided by penalty shootouts.

Klopp, however, labelled Chelsea favourites for Sunday’s showdown given his injury list.

Liverpool are fighting in what will be Klopp’s final season and a record-extending 10th League Cup triumph would be perfect for the final months of the season. But assistant manager Pep Lijnders says Chelsea, whatever their league position, will be a tough obstacle.

“It’s always close with Chelsea. Special games need special performances,” he said. Poch has already found his starting eleven and Cole Palmer has been one of the finds of the season.

“Conor Gallagher is a proper leader; a 10 but gets his shirt dirty as well. If you let them play between the lines with their technique it will be really hard.”

Chelsea’s motivation extends beyond seeking revenge, as they aim for their first trophy under Todd Boehly’s regime. Winning the Carabao Cup final would also offer Pochettino’s men automatic qualification to the UEFA Europa League next season.