The first silverware of the English soccer season will be handed out when Chelsea and Liverpool meet in the League Cup final at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, February 27, 2022. As the fixture looks finely poised, read on to inform your League Cup final predictions.
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It’s only the second time since 2014 that Manchester City haven’t featured in the final, as Chelsea and Liverpool meet at this stage of the competition for the first time since 2005.
Date/time: Sunday, February 27, 2022 – 16:30 GMT
Venue: Wembley Stadium, London
Chelsea vs. Liverpool: Predicted line-ups
GK: Edouard Mendy
RB: Cesar Azpilicueta (c)
CB: Thiago Silva
CB: Antonio Rudiger
LB: Malang Sarr
CM: N'golo Kante
CM: Mateo Kovacic
LW: Kai Havertz
ST: Romelu Lukaku
RW: Hakim Ziyech
GK: Alisson Becker
RB: Trent Alexander Arnold
CB: Virgil van Dijk
CB: Joel Matip
LB: Andy Robertson
CM: Jordan Henderson (c)
CM: Thiago Alcantara
LW: Sadio Mane
ST: Diogo Jota
RW: Mohamed Salah
League Cup final: A closer look at the odds
Pinnacle’s odds suggest the final is fairly evenly matched; however, Liverpool are narrowly expected to win the match with a 40.3% probability, while Chelsea have a 31.3% probability with Pinnacle’s traders. The market has Jurgen Klopp’s side at 2.480*, with Chelsea at 3.190*. The Draw at 90 minutes is at 3.000* (a 33.3% probability).
Observing Pinnacle’s other markets, the Over/Under Goals is set at 2.25, with Over at 1.943* and Under at 1.877*. This is a reflection of the fact that the two clubs met at Stamford Bridge in early January and played out a 2-2 draw.
At the time of writing, Liverpool have scored at least three goals in four of their last six matches in all competitions. However, it’s been 0-0 at half-time in three of the last six finals with a 1st-Half Draw priced at 2.090*.
League Cup head-to-head record
Since 2000, the two clubs have faced each other seven times in the League Cup including a two-legged semi-final in 2015. Chelsea hold the slight advantage in these fixtures with four wins to Liverpool’s two. The latest of those victories came in 2018 with goals from Emerson Palmieri and Eden Hazard enough to defeat Liverpool 2-1 in the third round.
Chelsea last won the trophy in 2015 with a 2-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur. Of the 18 players in that squad, only Cesar Azpilicueta is still at the club. While Man City hold significant advantage at the top of the Premier League, both Chelsea and Liverpool will see this trophy as a great springboard ahead of FA Cup and Champions League ties later in the year.
League Cup final: Who has the edge?
Liverpool are hoping to win the trophy for the first time since 2012. They beat Arsenal in the semi-final without Naby Keita, Mohamed Salah, and Sadio Mane, who were all on international duty. Their return will bolster an already rich-looking attack that includes new signing Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota, and Harvey Elliott. However, in the four finals (not including the UEFA Super Cup) that Liverpool have reached under Klopp, they’ve only won once – the 2019 Champions League final against Tottenham.
While Liverpool will most likely look to Salah and Mane to win the match for them, it could be a different story for Chelsea who share the bulk of the responsibility around the team. In the same seven-year span since 2015, Chelsea have reached eight finals (not including the UEFA Super Cup or the Community Shield), winning three of them. While Salah has 23 goals in all competitions this season, Chelsea have seven players on five goals or more with Jorginho and Romelu Lukaku on nine apiece.
Will it be Liverpool’s star men that secure their first League Cup in 10 years? Or can Chelsea’s model of recruiting for immediate success – in spite of who plays for them – continue their winning culture?
Chelsea vs Liverpool: Where is the value?
The last four fixtures between the pair have seen a win apiece and two successive draws. It’s important to note that Klopp hasn’t beaten Thomas Tuchel since the latter joined Chelsea in early 2021.
Tuchel’s three-man defence has proven tough for Liverpool’s attacking trio of Mane, Salah, and either Roberto Firmino or Jota to breach. This is compared to Frank Lampard’s Chelsea side who conceded 11 goals in all competitions against Liverpool. This could mean the aforementioned 1st-Half Draw (2.090*) could be value. Whilst Over 0.75 Goals at half-time is at 1.694* and Under 0.75 is at 2.180*.
As for the Outright market, Chelsea’s longer odds could represent value given their superior finals record. The last time the outsider in the final won the League Cup was Birmingham City in 2011 who had a 21.4% implied probability of defeating Arsenal (78.6%), but could we see it happen again this year?
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