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Carabao Cup final 2024: ‘Clever’ Klopp’s Liverpool are favourites, says Chelsea manager Pochettino

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Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino has disagreed with counterpart Jurgen Klopp’s suggestion that Liverpool are not favourites to win the Carabao Cup final 2024 at the Blues’ expense.

The Premier League clubs meet at Wembley Stadium on Sunday in a repeat of the 2022 final, when Liverpool prevailed on penalties following a 0-0 draw.

League leaders Liverpool are 25 points above 10th-placed Chelsea, whose 1-1 draw at Manchester City following a 3-1 win at Crystal Palace has eased the pressure on Pochettino in an underachieving campaign for his expensively-assembled squad.

“They have the experience to compete in different finals and… for some of our team, it’s maybe their first final,” Pochettino said.

“That’s why they are favourites, in my opinion. [Klopp’s] clever enough to say it’s 50-50. He’s clever enough to know that any circumstances can happen in the final. He’s one of the best coaches in the world, with [assistant] Pep [Lijnders].”

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Pochettino is yet to win a trophy with an English club across more than eight years as a manager of Southampton, Tottenham and Chelsea in the Premier League, although he guided Spurs to the 2014/15 final of the secondary domestic cup competition and the 2018/19 Uefa Champions League final.

“It means a lot for the coaching staff to have the possibility to be in the final and challenge a team like Liverpool to win our first title here,” said the Argentinian.

“It’s a dream for us, as coaching staff, and we have 90 minutes to achieve it. We are going to fight; the team is ready and will be very competitive. It’s an amazing chance for us.”

 

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Chelsea results show ‘confidence’

Chelsea, who have lost their last five finals at Wembley, were beaten 4-1 at Liverpool on January 31 and 4-2 at home by Wolves in their subsequent top-flight match, but Pochettino said the team’s more recent results reflected an improvement in “confidence” and “trust”.

“You can see, on the pitch before the start of the game, the team are all together,” he observed.

“They talk and the communication is much better. That needs to be natural when you build a team – it cannot be forced. If it is not natural, it will never work.”

Influential veteran defender Thiago Silva could return from injury for the final, Pochettino added.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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