Enrique claims Liverpool will ‘definitely’ beat Chelsea as Redknapp gives his League Cup final prediction

Joe Williams
Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk and Enzo Fernandez
Virgil van Dijk and Enzo Fernandez will face each other in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday.

Liverpool will “definitely” beat Premier League rivals Chelsea in the League Cup final on Sunday, according to former Reds defender Jose Enrique.

Chelsea play Liverpool in the first domestic cup final of the season on Sunday with both sides experiencing completely different fortunes in the Premier League.

The Reds are four points clear at the top of the Premier League, while the Blues are struggling in mid-table, although Mauricio Pochettino’s side are coming into the match off the back of one of their most impressive performances of the season in a 1-1 draw against Manchester City last weekend.

Liverpool are suffering from more injuries than most ahead of the match but Enrique still thinks his former club will beat Chelsea at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.

Enrique told Grosvenor Sport: “It’s a difficult one to predict with all the injuries – for both Liverpool and Chelsea. However, I think Liverpool are going to win – they have a better team than Chelsea and have a lot of players who have already won trophies with the club throughout the past few years. I definitely think Liverpool will win and I’m going with 2-1.

“Liverpool won’t be worried about their squad going into the game – they can beat Chelsea even will all their injuries. Let’s see if Mohamed Salah is available as that will make a massive difference to the team, especially with Diogo Jota currently out. Against Luton there were a lot of youth players on the bench, which is great to see, but in a cup final you want as much experience throughout the squad as possible. Nobody can control this level of injuries – it’s just crazy.

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“I said this before, the club needed to sign two players in January to make sure the squad was in good shape for the second half of the season. Conor Bradley has done really well at right back, but they could have done with another top holding midfielder, even if Endo has been performing well of late.”

Jurgen Klopp will need replacing at the end of the season after announcing his pending departure and Enrique thinks Xabi Alonso is their best option.

Enrique added: “Liverpool have to get it right – you saw what happened at Manchester United after Sir Alex Ferguson left,” he said. It’s going to be very difficult for whoever comes in to live up to the standards that Jurgen Klopp set.

“However, if you ask me who Liverpool should go for, the only one in my head who will have the support and will walk straight into a positive atmosphere around the club is Xabi Alonso.

“I love Roberto De Zerbi at Brighton too, he’s a top manager, but what Liverpool need Alonso after Klopp leaves. He’s done an unbelievable job at Bayer Leverkusen and he’s the only manager who I think wouldn’t allow standards to drop that much after Klopp departs.

“Alonso is still a long way away from being in Klopp’s league and he’s still very young, but I love him – he’s a top manager and I think he can become a world class coach at Liverpool. He’d be a great replacement and he should be the only one Liverpool should think about.”

Former Tottenham and West Ham boss Harry Redknapp has also had his say on who will win the Carabao Cup final with the ex-Premier League manager predicting a Liverpool win on penalties.

Redknapp told BetVictor: “The big one, the Carabao Cup final! I actually think is a really tough one to call. Liverpool have their fair share of injury issues at the minute, with Trent Alexander-Arnold out and the man of the moment Diogo Jota now out for a few months. It’s a good job Mohamed Salah is back fit!

“As for Chelsea, we saw how good they can be at the Etihad last week. They might have ridden their luck at times but they also caused Manchester City a lot of problems and probably should have scored more than the one they did get.

“I remember a couple of years ago these two met in this and the FA Cup final and both games went to penalties after a goalless 120 minutes. I won’t be surprised to see something similar here but hopefully with some goals! Liverpool on penalties would be my pick here.”