Paul Merson is backing Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC to play out an “absolute humdinger” in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley, tipping the showpiece to be decided on penalties.
Chelsea FC will be looking to win their fourth trophy in just over a year under Thomas Tuchel to cap the German head coach’s impressive stint in charge of the south west London side.
The Blues have already won the Champions League, the Uefa Super Cup and the Fifa World Club Cup in the past nine months and Tuchel now has the chance to secure his first piece of domestic silverware.
Tuchel’s side have fallen off the pace in the title race to rule out the possibility of challenging Manchester City and Liverpool FC in the final months of the Premier League season.
Liverpool FC have won their last nine games in all competition as they bounced back from a difficult spell in December that saw the Reds drop points in a 1-1 draw with Chelsea FC at Anfield.
Klopp’s men have scored 25 times during their nine-game winning run, beating Inter Milan 2-0 at the San Siro to seize control of their Champions League round of 16 tie.
Former Arsenal midfielder Merson says that the cup final should be an exciting tie with lots of “game-defining battles” but the pundit opted against predicting a winner instead tipping the final to finish with a penalty shootout.
“When I look at the two teams and how they’ve performed this season, I think this could be an absolute humdinger of a game with lots of goals,” Merson told Sportskeeda, as quoted by Metro.
“Chelsea are one of the best teams in the world defensively, but Liverpool’s front three is extraordinary and I fancy them to score against most teams across the continent.
“That said, I do think Chelsea have enough firepower to score goals despite question marks surrounding Romelu Lukaku’s form, so this is a tough game to call. Liverpool went to Stamford Bridge earlier this year, went 2-0 up and looked like they’d run away with the game, but Chelsea bounced back in some style and threatened to win after restoring parity.
“That’s what you’re up against – two world-class sides managed by two outstanding managers who are looking to get their hands on some silverware.”
Merson added: “The Wembley Stadium is an iconic venue and we’ve witnessed some sensational games of football in the capital over the years.
“Predicting a game like this is an impossible task, but I’m going for a 2-2 draw! As for penalties? Flip a coin, because there’s absolutely no one on the planet who can predict which one of these two sides would prevail in such a situation.”
Liverpool FC have won the League Cup trophy on eight previous occasions, a record only matched by Manchester City.
However, the Reds haven’t won the trophy since beating Cardiff City in 2012 before losing to Manchester City in 2016.
Chelsea FC have won the cup competition five times and most recently in 2015 before losing to Manchester City in 2019.
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Source: Sport Review