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Pochettino claims Chelsea are hitting form just before the Liverpool clash

Mauricio Pochettino perceives Chelsea as being “awake” following recent results that have shifted the trajectory of their season, just ahead of Sunday’s Carabao Cup final.

This upcoming match against Liverpool at Wembley will mark the club’s first final since co-owner Todd Boehly assumed control and initiated a comprehensive overhaul that has yet to yield success.

This comes on the heels of victories against Aston Villa in the FA Cup and Crystal Palace in the Premier League, followed by an impressive draw against champions Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium a week ago.

These three performances have notably altered the narrative surrounding Pochettino’s reconstruction of the team. The previous home game, a 4-2 defeat to Wolves at Stamford Bridge in early February, resulted in Chelsea being jeered off the pitch by sections of their own fans.

Just days before, they suffered a resounding 4-1 defeat at Anfield against Sunday’s opponents, delivering a disjointed performance that signaled disarray and fell short of the expectations set by Boehly’s substantial investment of over £1 billion in recruitment.

Now, Pochettino is optimistic that the past three weeks have seen a significant improvement in his players’ ability to contend with title-chasing Liverpool at Wembley.

Pochettino talks of ‘managing moments’ against Liverpool

“We will need to manage some moments during the game,” he said. “But I think in the last few weeks we’ve learned a lot, we’ve stepped up from (the defeat at Anfield). We arrive with very good momentum.

“After competing against Villa, Palace and Manchester City, it’s provided the team with the confidence and the trust.

“The team is awake to the competition. There was a click to change in the way we compete, that we were missing in the first half of the season.

“The circumstances are completely different (now), for us and for (Liverpool).”

Since the match at Anfield, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has seen several key players sidelined due to injury, including Trent Alexander-Arnold, Alisson Becker, Diogo Jota, and Curtis Jones.

Meanwhile, Pochettino faces his own concerns regarding team selection, with Thiago Silva’s fitness being evaluated after missing the last three games.

Although goalkeeper Robert Sanchez is fit again after an injury, Djordje Petrovic, who has made a strong impression since joining the side in early December, may retain his place in the lineup.

Jurgen Klopp admits Liverpool are not the favorites in the final

Klopp has expressed his belief that his team is not the favorite heading into the Wembley clash, a notion that the Chelsea manager dismisses.

“(Klopp) is clever enough,” said Pochettino. “He knows that when you play a final, anything can happen. If they’re not the favourite, then we are not the favourite.

“For me Liverpool is the favourite. After eight years they have the experience to compete like a team, and be involved in different finals.

for our players, it’s new. For some of them it’s maybe their first final. That’s why they are favourites, in my opinion. But he is clever enough to say it’s 50-50.”

Additionally, Pochettino said that his team may ultimately be stronger for their chastening night on Merseyside in January.

“In this type of process, you need that these type of things happen,” he said. “You need to really wake up about the situation.

“The team needs to learn from the good and the not-so-good experiences. It was positive.

“After Liverpool, that result was completely unfair. But maybe that was good for us, to feel the pain, the negative situation, to be stronger now, and to find the way to compete better.”

Ethan Dempsey
Ethan Dempsey
Ethan is a lifelong football fan. When he is not obsessing over the Premier League games, Ethan likes to read fantasy tomes, watch football documentaries and waste hours upon hours on video games.
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