The 62nd annual English Football League Cup Final (Carabao Cup) takes place at London’s famous Wembley Stadium this Sunday, Feb. 27th as Liverpool squares off against fellow Premier League side Chelsea.
The competition, which began in 1960-61, is open to all 92 professional teams in the top four levels of the nation’s football league system. This includes the Premier League, Championship League, League One and League Two.
The League Cup tournament consists of seven rounds with all matches being knockout games other than the two-legged semifinal stage.
Liverpool entered the competition in the third round this season and managed to reach the Final by beating Norwich City 3-0 away, Preston North End 2-0 away and Leicester City 5-4 in a penalty shootout after the game ended in a 3-3 draw. They then drew Arsenal 0-0 at home in the first leg of the semifinals and won the second leg 2-0 away.
Chelsea also entered the tournament in the third round and advanced to the Final with a 4-3 penalty shootout win at home over Aston Villa after the contest ended in a 1-1 draw. This was followed by another 4-3 home shootout victory against Southampton after a 1-1 draw and a 2-0 away win against Brentford. Chelsea then downed Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 at home and 1-0 away in the two-legged semifinals.
As well as earning bragging rights in England when winning the cup, the victors will also qualify for the 2022-23 edition of the UEFA Europa Conference League unless they have qualified for the Europa League or Champions League.
Of course, Chelsea is the reigning European Champions League winner and is still playing in this season’s competition as is Liverpool. The two teams are also still playing in this season’s FA Cup tournament as it enters the fifth round. In addition, Liverpool enters the League Cup Final currently in second place in the English Premier League while Chelsea sits in third place.
Liverpool is currently tied with Manchester City for the most League Cup triumphs with eight each and they have also finished as runners-up four times. Their last cup win came in 2015-16 and they also share the record for most consecutive cup wins with Manchester City as they captured it four years in a row from 1981 to 1984.
Chelsea has hoisted the trophy five times and finished as runners-up on three occasions with their last victory coming in 2018-19.
On the injury front, Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel is hoping that Mateo Kovacic, Hakim Ziyech, Mason Mount, Reece James and Callum Hudson-Odoi will be fit enough for the Cup Final while Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is waiting to see if Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino will be available.
The bet365 oddsmakers have listed Liverpool as the favorites to lift the English League Cup this weekend at -138 with Chelsea at +110.
If the game is tied after 90 minutes it will go to two 15-minute halves of extra time. If it’s still level it will then be decided by a penalty shootout.
Bet365 also offers live in-play wagering for the game as well as numerous other popular bets such as full-time result, both teams to score, margin of victory, correct score, half-time result, total goals, odd or even goals, the number of corners, the goalscorers, the first team to score, the last team to score and many more.