Chelsea and Liverpool battle for the first trophy of the season

The first final of the English football season happens tomorrow morning (12.30am) when Chelsea and Liverpool go head-to-head in the League Cup.

For Chelsea, it is a chance to add more silverware after winning the Club World Cup earlier this month, while for Liverpool, it is a chance to win the tournament for a record ninth time.

Liverpool dominated the tournament when it was known as the Milk Cup in the 1980s, winning four straight times, from 1981 to 1984.

But its last success in the now-christened Carabao Cup was 10 years ago.

Since 2012, Manchester City has equalled two of Liverpool’s records – for consecutive victories (2018-2021), and tally (eight).

Chelsea has won the trophy five times.

The London club and the Reds have drawn both league games this season. As such, it could be another tight game.

Twentytwo13 spoke to fans from both sides to get their predictions for the final.

G. Aravind, 32, human resources business partner

“Liverpool is the most in-form team in the Premier League. Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane are tough to stop after their exploits in the African Cup of Nations.

Chelsea will need its defence to be watertight if it is to have any chance of winning.

It will come down to the team that takes chances, and the Chelsea strike force has not been convincing.

For me, the midfield battle will decide the outcome. It will be a close one.”

Prediction: Chelsea 1 Liverpool 0

T. Mohan, 67, retiree: It will be close since little separated the teams in their matches in the league.

More importantly, the cup rivalry resumes after some time. Chelsea’s display against Lille has raised optimism.

Only a goal is to separate the teams. I am going for a win for the world’s best football club.

Prediction: Chelsea 2 Liverpool 1

Melanie Chan, 19, student

“I hope Chelsea crush Liverpool in the final. We were unlucky in the two league games. This time, we will come good.

Liverpool is on a good run, but winning the Club World Cup has rejuvenated Chelsea. I can see Romelu Lukaku finally hitting form.”

Prediction: Chelsea 2 Liverpool 1

M. Ravishanker, 51, procurement manager

“It will be a tight match. Liverpool will prevail if it is clinical with its chances. Chelsea will play counter attacking football, and Romelu Lukaku will probably get only 10 touches.

If Liverpool scores first, it will force Chelsea to play football. It will not be easy to claw back a deficit against Chelsea.

Mohamed Salah for Liverpool and Chelsea’s Kai Havertz can be the game-changers.”

Prediction: Chelsea 0 Liverpool 2 

Alvin Seah Peng Ngee, 50, commercial head

“Firstly, I would like to say I dislike Chelsea. I see this as a golden opportunity for my beloved Liverpool to add more silverware to the cabinet.

Deservingly so, with the wealth of talent in its squad.

I look forward to this materialising, with the strategic acquisition of Luis Diaz, coupled with an already great team.

Chelsea is still a team to be reckoned with, and Liverpool needs to be on its toes at all times. A misstep, a lapse of attention or focus, will be detrimental.

On its day, Liverpool is unplayable. Any team will dread facing it.

In my dreams, Liverpool wins 8-0, but realistically, it will be closer. I hope to see Diaz and Mohamed Salah score, and perhaps one, from Harvey Elliot.”

Prediction: Chelsea 1 Liverpool 3

Asan Ahmad, 55, freelance journalist

“Liverpool has been in perfect form. Its forwards have been deadly, as evident from the 6-0 thrashing of Leeds, in mid-week.

Jurgen Klopp has many choices for his strike force. There is Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota as well as Divock Origi and Takumi Minamino.

I am sad Roberto Firmino has not recovered from his injury.

Chelsea has been shaky of late, but is always a dangerous opponent.”

Prediction: Chelsea 1 Liverpool 2

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