The English Football League Cup is at stake in Sunday’s match between Jurgen Klopp of Liverpool and Mauricio Pochettino of Chelsea.

With Jurgen Klopp at the helm for one last time, the Reds have booked a Wembley date after defeating Bournemouth, Fulham, West Ham, Leicester, and Fulham. This may be the first step toward Premier League, FA Cup, and Europa League success.

Meanwhile, because they don’t play in Europe, Chelsea had to play an additional match more than Liverpool did. However, the Blues were still able to reach Wembley after defeating Wimbledon, Brighton, Newcastle, Blackburn, and Middlesbrough.

Even though Klopp’s squad is without several key players ahead of their trip to Wembley, many still consider Liverpool to be the favorites. Thus, the German boss will be aiming for his seventh trophy since moving to Anfield in 2015.

On the other hand, Mauricio Pochettino will be seeking to clinch his first since becoming Chelsea’s leader.

The Argentine manager is under pressure to turn things around after his side’s poor performance in the Premier League this year. Meanwhile, the fact that this is Klopp’s last season with the Reds makes it all the more memorable.

Pochettino comments on previous referees

Because of the emotional nature of Jurgen Klopp’s farewell to Liverpool, Mauricio Pochettino has asked referee Chris Kavanagh and his staff to be “fair” to Chelsea.

Following Klopp’s announcement of his leaving, Liverpool’s first Premier League opponent at Anfield following his departure was Pochettino’s Chelsea. Pochettino is still irate with the referees since his London team was refused two penalties, even though they lost 4-1.

In response to the question of whether Klopp and Liverpool are under any additional pressure to win a title before he goes, the Blues boss said: “Good question. It is not pressure for him. No. Maybe it is for the people who want to celebrate with Liverpool.

“I think we need to be sure we are going to compete and be fair in every single decision. When we played against Liverpool at Anfield, I think too many decisions … not one key decision was for us. Two penalties were not given. Duels, 50-50s, always for another colour. Always red. I want to be treated in a fair way.

“Of course, we are going to celebrate. I am the first who is going to say that Liverpool is amazing and Klopp is one of the best coaches in the world. But I think after my last experience playing there, what I want in Wembley is to go there and not feel the pressure. It is to play a game at the same level and the best team will win. But not to feel the pressure of people around.”

Additional motivation to beat Klopp?

“They were better than us [at Anfield], of course. But the first decision after five minutes was a clear penalty. In the second half it was a penalty, [Christopher] Nkunku. We are Chelsea and we need to compete with the same tools.

“If they are better well done and we congratulate them, but be fair in every single decision. The pressure is about not delivering the job for Klopp, no, the pressure is not to be part of the … you know?”

In addition, Pochettino dismissed the idea that ruining Liverpool’s celebration for Klopp would serve as a further incentive: “No, no, We want to win because of Chelsea. But of course, Liverpool want to win. But please, not another party involved in the game will be part of the celebration that Klopp is leaving, no? That is important.”

Photo credit: IMAGO / PRiME Media Images.