How 3 influential pundits rate Chelsea's chances of beating Liverpool in Cup final

Chelsea has had another turbulent season so far, and while they would want to use that as fuel for the upcoming Carabao Cup final this Sunday, things are never that simple in football. The last time these two sides met, it was a thrashing for the Blues, and Mauricio Pochettino would not forget it quickly.
Manchester City v Chelsea FC - Premier League
Manchester City v Chelsea FC - Premier League / James Gill - Danehouse/GettyImages

Chelsea boss Pochettino is yet to win a trophy in England, after winning nothing with Tottenham Hotspur in the five years he spent there as head coach. Jurgen Klopp seems to have the upper hand in head-to-head meetings against the Argentine as well, but everyone knows that cup finals have their own magic. Here is how three influential pundits rate the Blues' chances of beating Liverpool this Sunday.

Graeme Souness

Souness played six years for Liverpool and managed them for three separate years, so permit him if he's a little biased. Of course, the former Liverpool midfielder favors the Reds to come out victorious after the final whistle on Sunday. He expects Jurgen Klopp's game-changing forwards to stand up and be counted regardless of what kind of game they have.

There's merit to this thought process, as the Merseyside club does have players who can be incredibly decisive even when they're having bad games. You may think of Mohamed Salah while reading this, but even Luis Diaz and Darwin Nunez have shown throughout the season that they can badger the opposition until they wear them out.

Though Nunez is injured now, he took 11 shots against Chelsea at Anfield some weeks ago, and while he didn't score, he hit the woodwork four times, two of which were tipped onto the post by the Blues goalkeeper Dorde Petrovic. He also took a penalty that he didn't score just because he played it onto the post after sending Petrovic the wrong way.

Luis Diaz seemed to be having a stinker of a game against Luton Town on Thursday, but still got his name on the scoresheet, after missing three big chances already in the same game. Liverpool have several players like this that can change the game in the blink of an eye.

Jamie Carragher

Carragher also thinks Liverpool will get the upper hand, though he expects it to be close. The Reds legend played 508 league games for them, and over 730 appearances in all competitions. The pundit appreciates the well-earned point Chelsea got at the Etihad, but he still expects the Reds to come out on top.

Liverpool being the league leader puts them as at least slight if not, overwhelming favorites. They have scored more goals than anyone else in the league, conceded fewer goals than anyone else except Arsenal, and are sitting four points clear, though a game ahead of Manchester City.

Gary Neville

Manchester United legend Gary Neville thinks Liverpool might just be perfectly set up to play into Chelsea's hands. He cites the Reds' injuries as something that could impact them severely and thinks Chelsea has the perfect players to exploit Jurgen Klopp's high line in Nicolas Jackson, Raheem Sterling, and Cole Palmer.

This makes sense, as Chelsea has recorded fewer losses against the team's current top six than they have against even mid table teams this season. Pochettino's men drew against Arsenal, Man City (twice), and Liverpool, beating Aston Villa. There is evidence to suggest that the Blues cannot be deadly on the counter when playing against teams like Liverpool.

Pochettino has to set up his team very well though, personnel and structure-wise, to avoid a repeat of the 4-1 embarrassment that occurred at Anfield not that long ago.

In conclusion, it's clear that Neville, Souness, and Carragher all recognize Liverpool's strength, but Neville seems to be the only one who can see a Chelsea victory. Carragher expects it to be tight, which makes sense as the Blues have players who can also be decisive. Souness favors Liverpool's game-changers to decide the game, something that they've done all season.