Carabao Cup final: The verdict from Liverpool on the Reds’ tactics against Chelsea

LiverpoolWorld’s football reporter Will Rooney gives us the lowdown on the Reds’ tactics and secret weapon in the Carabao Cup final against Chelsea.

Chelsea’s opponents in this afternoon’s Carabao Cup final have their sights set on achieving an unprecedented quadruple this season.

Jurgen Klopp’s men are well and truly in the race for the Premier League title, and they’re in the driving seat to reach the Champions League quarter-finals.

In addition, Liverpool have reached the fifth round of the FA Cup.

To make it to the Carabao Cup final, the Reds saw off Norwich City, Preston North End, Leicester City before defeating Arsenal in the semi-final over two legs.

Both Liverpool and Chelsea are built for big occasions and the expectations are that this will be a very tactical encounter that could be decided by the finest of margins.

So to get the inside story on Chelsea’s rivals, we spoke to LiverpoolWorld football reporter Will Rooney on what Thomas Tuchel’s side can expect from Liverpool.

Danger men: Mo Salah and Sadio Mane

Does much need to be said about Liverpool’s wing wizards?

Salah is in the form of his life and many concur he’s the best player in the world right now.

He’s plundered 27 goals in all competitions so far this campaign and there’s no ceiling on how many he could finish on.

Salah will also have a point to prove against his former club, who jettisoned him after not being given a fair chance earlier in his career.

Mane, meanwhile, has come back from inspiring Senegal to African Cup of Nations glory in rampant mood.

He’s showing no signs of fatigue. If anything, the ex-Southampton forward has hit better form than he displayed before the tournament.

Mo Salah celebrates scoring for Liverpool. Picture: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Liverpool’s strength

Scoring goals. They have bagged an incredible 106 times in all competitions so far.

Salah has the most by far but plenty of the Reds’ squad are capable of putting the ball in the back of the net.

Diogo Jota has proven a revelation and has 17 to his name. Mane’s four behind then the likes of Divock Origi and Fabinho have chipped in.

Set-pieces are an area Liverpool are dangerous from, too. Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip always  threaten around the box.

Weakness

Breaking teams who’re resolute down. As we saw in the 1-1 draw at Anfield earlier this season, Klopp’s side can struggle to find the solutions - especially when the opponents have a man sent off.

It’s bizarre given the potency in the attacking areas, almost counter-intuitive.

Hopefully the addition of Luis Diaz can prove the remedy to that problem.

Liverpool’s form going into the game

The Reds have won their past nine games in all competitions.

They thrashed Leeds United 6-0 at Anfield on Wednesday and confidence is high in the camp.

Injury news

Roberto Firmino has been ruled out with a muscle injury.

Liverpool are also sweating on the fitness of Jota. He’s missed the past two matches with an ankle problem.

Secret weapon

Jordan Henderson. Don’t underestimate how influential the Liverpool captain is. Sometimes he doesn’t get the credit he deserves.

He’s not only a leader but his link-up play with Salah and Alexander-Arnold down the right flank is underrated.

Henderson also has two assists in as many games.