This week will be mostly about the EFL Cup Round of 16 games. The Carabao Cup will be the first one up for grabs by February next year. As such, teams will be jostling to feature in the final at the Wembley Stadium and add the trophy to their cabinet.
Of the 16 games set to be played this week, the one that most fans will be looking forward to is the clash between Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool and Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea. Both teams were drawn against each other in the third round draw and will now face each other in the first two meetings set to take place within the space of 5 days.
Both sides have a history of major clashes at the various top levels of football. And they will now add to that history starting with the knockout game on Wednesday.
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Being a winner-takes-all fixture, Liverpool, a side that has not won a trophy in a while now, may field a strong squad as they look to at least win a trophy this time around. But Klopp may also be looking at the Reds’ upcoming game and may opt to give the youngsters a chance.
Before the next international break in October, Liverpool will travel to the Stamford Bridge to face the Blues before visiting Napoli to tackle Sarri’s former side and then welcome The Centurions to Anfield on the 7th of October.
May still be early days but these fixtures could play a huge role in Liverpool’s season. They’re still on their unbeaten run so far; a run that will face its first major test on Wednesday.
The Blues are also on an unbeaten run. Under Sarri, they’ve looked like real contenders for the Premier League title, with new man, Jorginho, being at the heart of everything working for Sarri’s Blues. But their draw at West Ham meant their 100% run came to an early end.
But both teams are still unbeaten.
On Wednesday, one team must get eliminated. There are no return legs. No second chances. Should the game end in a draw, teams will head straight to penalties. At the end of the day, one team will get eliminated and the other will progress to the penultimate round before the quarter-finals.
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Just like the Reds, Sarri has enough incentive to also field a strong team. The only major game the Blues have in the offing will be on October 20 when they welcome Jose “Judas” Mourinho back to the Stamford Bridge.
With both teams set to play twice in the space of 5 days, both managers will have the headache of which games to prioritize: the EFL Cup game or the Premier League clash. In the latter, a slip-up by either teams could see Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City take advantage. In the former, it’s the perfect time to go big or go home.
The Blues will be looking to continue their march in the cup competition, despite the absence of Roman Abrahamovic from their games in recent months. The Reds will want to go one further this season: play beautiful, gengen pressing football… and also win a trophy.
But which of these two clubs will lose first this season? Share your thoughts with us by leaving us your comments.