This Saturday, Chelsea take on Liverpool in the FA Cup final in a rematch of February’s League Cup final. This is Chelsea’s second domestic cup final of the season fourth overall, showing that despite it being a frustrating league campaign for the Blues, they are still a good cup side and will end the season with more silverware in the cabinet.
Standing in the way of FA Cup glory, however, are quadruple hunting Liverpool. The Reds are yet to win the competition under Jurgen Klopp, who has often used it to rest players, but now they will be hoping to change things. This year seems to be different for Liverpool and they will be considered slight favourites going into the match.Embed from Getty Images
Thomas Tuchel’s team selection today will include some massive decisions. Matteo Kovacic went off injured against Leeds and is reportedly playing through a lot of pain. Still, with this game being such an important one, will Tuchel decide to risk it? N’golo Kante is another big decision after also missing the Leeds game. Hudson-Odoi and Chilwell are still out with their respective injury issues but apart from that, everyone else is fit.
For Liverpool, the big absentee will be Fabinho, who misses out with a muscular problem. As a result, Jordan Henderson may get the nod at the base of midfield. Apart from that, Klopp has a full squad to pick from.
It goes without saying that this is a huge match for Chelsea. The club have nearly secured Champions League football for next season and the future is looking bright but there is something quite underwhelming about this season. After such a positive start, it would be a shame for Chelsea to end things without a piece of domestic silverware. Furthermore, winning the FA Cup would be the perfect start to Todd Boehly’s stewardship of the club.
Ahead of kick-off, some of the writers at The Chelsea Social have made their match predictions:
Can the Blues get Cup Final revenge on Liverpool?
Maria Dulce (@usernamedulce)
When facing Liverpool in a final, especially after the disappointing loss in the Carabao Cup, it is challenging to maintain a confident mindset for Chelsea. However, could the third time be a charm? We will certainly need good fortune, but with good recent performances from some key players, the team might be able to capitalize on the Reds’ schedule overload.
Regarding the team’s line-up, names in the starting squad should include Romelu Lukaku and Mason Mount. In the Leeds game, Lukaku seemed to have learned from his past mistakes and was able to link up play in midfield, besides showing great physicality in holding up defenders to create space. As for Mount, his driving the ball forwards, playmaking, and pressuring the opposition abilities will be of utter importance to give the team an advantage. Plus, if the midfield duo selected are Kante and Kovacic, both players have enough quality to make it more complicated for Liverpool to organize themselves in quick transitions to attack and create goal-scoring opportunities.
Undeniably, the game will be a tight one. And naturally, the Reds are the favourites. As underdogs, though, Tuchel’s side has the potential to perform a one-off perfect display and end the season with a trophy – which would be the ideal welcome to the new club owners. The team did it against Real Madrid – and there is no reason they can’t do it now. Thus, my prediction is Chelsea 2 – 1 Liverpool.
Up the Chels!
Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Liverpool
Harrison Burridge (@hburridge2)
Since the turn of the year, supporting Chelsea has been akin to that of a rollercoaster. However, there has been one constant throughout and that has been the FA Cup run. That in itself has been full of twists and turns with struggling performances against Plymouth Argyle and Luton before sweeping aside Middlesbrough and Crystal Palace.
Wednesday’s 3-0 win at Elland Road against Leeds couldn’t have come at a better time for the club after three games without a win. It appeared to come at a cost with Mateo Kovacic hobbling off after Dan James’ horror challenge, but he has since trained and travelled with the squad easing fans’ worries over the already depleted midfield.Embed from Getty Images
Liverpool themselves have been continuing on their merry way in their quest for the quadruple although last Saturday’s draw with Tottenham highlighted a chink in their armour and something Chelsea can look to exploit under the Wembley arch.
Memories of final defeats in 2020 and 2021 for Chelsea will be at the forefronts of their minds and the desire to avenge that should be flowing throughout the squad. Also, the chance is there for Chelsea to catch Liverpool napping with their minds focused on other silverware.
Prediction: Chelsea 1-0 Liverpool
I’m actually very confident for the FA Cup final, I have to admit. I don’t think it will have the same flow as the Carabao Cup final where we just kept missing chance after chance – I can see us being really clinical tomorrow and getting some revenge.
I think the players definitely switched off after the UCL exit and have just been waiting for the FA Cup final. Top 4, as difficult as we’ve made it look, has always really been in our hands. I never really felt we were going to slip out of the top 4 race. I think the players and manager even before the Leeds game probably knew we’ll make the top 4. Tomorrow’s going to be huge.
We all know how good Liverpool are and the strengths they pose in attack, but they won’t have Fabinho available. Thiago will obviously cause problems for us but with Kovacic available, I certainly fancy our chances of winning the midfield battle which I think will be huge tomorrow.
The Carabao Cup final wasn’t mean to be. I don’t think I’m the only one who thinks we deserved to win that and I think the players will be even more up for it tomorrow. It would look quite embarrassing if we lose to Liverpool in both the Carabao and FA Cup finals.
Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Liverpool
Noah Robson (@noahrobson_)
Cast your mind back to just a few months ago and it seems incredible that we are in a position where winning the FA Cup could decide whether this has been a successful season. Perhaps imagining we could compete for the league title was optimistic, but until December it certainly didn’t seem that way.
And yet, here we are, in the build-up to what has now become the biggest game of the campaign for us. It is of course, as has been pointed out numerous times now, a repeat of that painful penalty loss back in February, as we go up against old foes in the form of Liverpool on Saturday afternoon, hoping for revenge.
A recurring theme this season has been to discuss the mentality of the players, particularly in recent weeks with some humiliating losses to Brentford and Arsenal standout candidates for such conversations. It’s why predicting any game involving Chelsea – let alone a cup final – feels almost impossible.
Liverpool have more on their minds in terms of trophies than us, with a Champions League final coming up, but Klopp will not allow complacency to set in, given his standards. Whatever happens, this game will be tight, but do I think we’ll have enough to overcome a team still competing on three fronts this late in the campaign? I’m not so sure.
Prediction: Chelsea 0-1 Liverpool (AET)
Written by Chelsea Extra (@CFCExtra)
Edited by Noah Robson (@noahrobson_)
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