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Chelsea boss Pochettino laughs off Klopp answer before Carabao Cup final | Football | Sport

Liverpool are unbeaten in their last eight matches against Chelsea, with the Blues’ most recent victory in March 2021. Klopp’s outfit are battling for the Premier League title while their Sunday opposition have been fighting to get into the top half of the table for the majority of the season.

Having beaten Chelsea last month, Klopp was told that his team were viewed as favourites to lift the first piece of silverware of the season. To which he disagreed and said: “Will we be big favourites? Definitely not. Since we (last) played them (Chelsea), they have improved a lot and it will be tricky.”

When told in his press conference that Klopp had dismissed such a suggestion, Pochettino laughed and replied: “Because he’s one of the best, with Pep (Guardiola), coaches in the world. He’s clever enough. He knows that when you play a final, circumstances can happen.

“If they are not favourites, we are not favourites. They have experience to compete like a team, be involved in different finals. For some of us, it’s maybe their first final. He is clever enough.”

Pochettino was in agreement with Klopp, however, that the 4-1 defeat at Anfield just over three weeks ago had very little significance in Sunday’s clash and that Chelsea have improved drastically from that day.

“It’s true this is different,” he added. “It’s never the same approach playing in the Premier League and in the final. You always learn from the games you play, too many things. Of course we arrive in this game with different circumstances and it is difficult to compare and say that it will have influence in the games that we played in the past.”

Pochettino also confirmed that veteran defender Thiago Silva has a “chance” of returning from injury for the final, where his experience will be invaluable. They are also assessing several other players, with Marc Cucurella also returning to partial training.

“I think we need to assess to see whether they (previous absentees) can be involved on Sunday,” Pochettino explained. “Yes, I will communicate tomorrow if we recovered players from training. Yes, he (Silva) has the chance. Tomorrow, we will see.”

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