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These sides have had short hiatuses away from the EFL Cup Final and both Chelsea and Liverpool will be keen to make up for lost time as they look to clinch the first piece of English domestic silverware this weekend.
It will be Chelsea’s first appearance in the EFL Cup showpiece since they were runners-up in 2019, while Liverpool suffered the same fate in 2016.
Both sides arrive with plenty of W’s under their belt, but Thomas Tuchel’s men haven’t exactly been convincing in recent weeks, while Liverpool find themselves back in the title hunt after Man City’s slip-up last weekend.
But these two sides run each other close in the recent head-to-heads, and with anything possible in a cup final, let’s hope our expert betting tips strike the right note at Wembley.
Cup finals can often be cagey affairs and we’re expecting a tense afternoon in the capital.
Chelsea may well have won the Club World Cup in February, but they weren’t particularly sparkling in narrow victories over Palmeiras and Al Hilal, while they needed a late winner to get past Crystal Palace on their return to the Premier League.
There’s also the continued poor form of Romelu Lukaku to bear in mind, with the Belgian having only seven touches at Selhurst Park last weekend.
That will hardly strike fear into a strong Liverpool defence, but the Blues don’t concede many goals and, ironically, the only time they’ve shipped more than one goal in a game in 2022 came against Liverpool at the turn of the year.
The last two meetings between these sides have ended in draws, but extra-time and penalties will come into play here if that’s the case, so we have no hesitation in backing the draw and under 2.5 goals in 90 minutes as both sides look to keep things tight. That bet is available at around 11/4 (LeoVegas) and with most of the major sports betting sites.
There have been whispers of discontent around the Chelsea camp for a number of weeks, but their general form hasn’t been bad at all.
Their only defeat in the last 18 games came against Premier League champions Manchester City, while they should make light work of Lille in the last 16 of their Champions League tie over the next couple of weeks.
The struggles of Lukaku have been well publicised, but the 28-year-old isn’t usually far away from the goals and has a cunning knack for silencing doubters at the perfect time.
And they do have a relatively recent victory over Liverpool to take into this one, with Mason Mount’s excellent goal proving decisive at Anfield in March of 2021.
The most significant EFL Cup Final doubt is Mount, who is nursing an ankle injury, while full-back Reece James is likely to miss out.
It’s been a promising week or two for Liverpool after Manchester City dropped points in their defeat to Spurs last Saturday.
That result leaves the Reds just six points adrift of City with a game in hand AND they also have to visit the Etihad in a potential title decider in the spring.
Klopp’s men also delivered a superb away performance in beating Inter Milan at the San Siro in the Champions League, which means they’re firmly in the mix for all four major trophies this season.
But the Merseysiders have kept only one clean sheet in their last eight meetings with Chelsea, so they will need to be at their best at both ends if they want to pick up the first pot of the season.
Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino will miss Liverpool’s Premier League clash with Leeds on Wednesday and Klopp has suggested that they will also be out of Sunday’s game.
As you can imagine, there is a wealth of history between these two, with this fixture taking place 190 times, with their first taking us all the way back to 1907.
Chelsea were 4-1 victors that day, but Liverpool have the upper hand historically with 82 wins compared to the Londoners’ 65.
The EFL Cup Final takes place at Wembley Stadium – the home of English football since its opening in 2007.
The England national team also plays their games here, while it’s the home of all English domestic finals, as well as major European and international games.
This one really could go either way, so we’re expecting cautious approaches from two sides who won’t want to give much away.
One goal is likely to decide it, but we don’t expect it to come until at least extra time, with a penalty shootout a distinct possibility between two strong outfits that are more than capable of cancelling each other out.