Chelsea vs Liverpool is the upcoming final of the FA Cup. Liverpool continue their hunt for a treble while Chelsea wants to lift a trophy to end the season on a high note.
Chelsea vs Liverpool: Match Preview:
While not a particularly exciting idea on paper, the manner in which Chelsea and Liverpool last battled at Wembley’s thrilling February final does whet the appetite.
Rarely has a 0-0 proven so exciting and, even in a Premier League context, there has been so little to split the two teams all season.
Both meetings in that competition have ended 2-2 even despite Liverpool’s healthy lead over Chelsea in the table.
Although Jurgen Klopp’s attempts to catch Manchester City have taken a blow in recent days, the German could still win all three cup competitions this season and the fact he’s already conquered Chelsea in a knockout contest cannot be ignored.
Whether it be down to the tireless work of the medical department or sheer dumb luck, Liverpool’s treatment room has remained virtually empty during their busy period, with Roberto Firmino back on the bench at Villa Park following a foot injury.
However, the Reds have been dealt a killer blow after Fabinho hobbled off with an apparent hamstring problem in Tuesday night’s victory, but the midfielder should be back for the Champions League final.
With much still to play for after Saturday’s final is done and dusted, Klopp is sure to avoid taking any risks over Fabinho if he is not 100% fit, but he should be Liverpool’s only absentee for the final.In spite of Caoimhin Kelleher’s EFL Cup exploits, Klopp is sure to hand Alisson Becker the gloves for the FA Cup final, where Andy Robertson will return after enjoying a complete rest in midweek.
Thiago Alcantara, Ibrahima Konate, Jordan Henderson and Mohamed Salah are also among those primed to return to the first XI, with the latter potentially joining Chelsea’s nemesis Mane and star signing Luis Diaz in the final third.
In very similar fashion, Chelsea also witnessed one of their midfield stalwarts leave the field with a concerning injury in midweek, as Mateo Kovacic was on the receiving end of a dreadful tackle from Daniel James at Elland Road, for which the Leeds man was sent off for.
The Croatian injured the same ankle in the semi-final win over Crystal Palace, although Tuchel has not ruled out the possibility of him playing some part, while Jorginho made a timely return from an issue of his own in midweek.
N’Golo Kante’s comeback would also be welcomed with open arms, but Tuchel is “90% sure” that Jorginho and Ruben Loftus-Cheek will be in the middle for Saturday’s final, where Ben Chilwell and Callum Hudson-Odoi will watch on from the sidelines.
Romelu Lukaku’s redemption arc continued with another goal in the win over Leeds following his brace against Wolverhampton Wanderers, and the need for a physical presence against the likes of Konate and Virgil van Dijk could tempt Tuchel into handing the Belgian another start here.
Pulisic’s goal in midweek has also given Tuchel food for thought – as well as Timo Werner’s five contributions in the FA Cup this term, the most of any player in the tournament (two goals and three assists) – but Kai Havertz is well-rested and will expect to force his way back into the lineup.
Chelsea vs Liverpool: Head to Head:
Liverpool have an impressive historical record against Chelsea and have won 83 of the 191 matches played between the two sides. Chelsea have managed 65 victories against Liverpool and will want to cut the deficit on Saturday.
The previous meeting between the two teams took place in the EFL Cup earlier this year and ended in a penalty shoot-out victory for Liverpool. Both teams failed to score in open play on the day and will want to be more clinical this weekend.
Recent performances in all competitions:
1-0 win over West Ham United
1-1 draw against Manchester United
1-0 loss against Everton
2-2 draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers
3-0 win over Leeds United
2-0 win over Villareal
1-0 win over West Ham United
3-2 win over Villareal
1-1 draw against Tottenham Hotspur
2-1 win over Aston Villa
Chelsea vs Liverpool: Predicted Line-ups:
Chelsea Predicted XI (3-4-3): Ferland Mendy; Cesar Azpilicueta, Antonio Rudiger, Thiago Silva; Marcos Alonso, Reece James, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Jorginho; Mason Mount, Christian Pulisic, Romelu Lukaku.
Liverpool Predicted XI (4-3-3): Alisson Becker; Andrew Robertson, Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip, Trent Alexander-Arnold; Jordan Henderson, Naby Keita, Thiago Alcantara; Luis Diaz, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane.