Chelsea vs Liverpool: History bid or Wembley revenge?
Chelsea and Liverpool line up in the 141st FA Cup final at Wembley on Saturday (16:45 BST).
Liverpool, who beat Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final in February, are chasing an unprecedented quadruple after reaching the Champions League final, while they are three points behind leaders Manchester City in the Premier League with two games to go.
Eight-time FA Cup winners Chelsea are appearing in the final for the third successive season – and fifth in six seasons – after finishing runners-up to Arsenal in 2020 under Frank Lampard and Leicester City in 2021 under Thomas Tuchel.
“It will be another hard fight, given the quality and run of form of Liverpool,” said Tuchel. “But this is what a cup final is all about.”
When asked about Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola’s comments that “everyone in the country supported Liverpool”, Tuchel replied: “It is hard to really argue with him on it.
“There’s a huge sympathy for Liverpool in the country, which is fair enough. They work hard for it. Jurgen Klopp is the master of being the underdog. He can talk you into it.
“There is nothing to be jealous of from my side. Klopp is a fantastic guy, a funny guy and one of the best coaches in the world. If we are the bad guys tomorrow no problem. We take that role.
“We don’t want the sympathy of the whole country, we want the trophy at the end of the day.”
Liverpool are appearing in their first final since 2012, when they were defeated 2-1 by Chelsea.
Chelsea have won the competition five times since the Reds last lifted the FA Cup in 2006.
“Liverpool supporters make occasions like this their own,” said Reds boss Jurgen Klopp. “I love it so much. Because the one thing none of us can guarantee on a day like this is the result.”
It is the first FA Cup final to be played in front of a capacity crowd at Wembley since Manchester City beat Watford 6-0 in 2019 watched by 85,854 fans.
Coronavirus restrictions meant the 2020 final between Arsenal and Chelsea was played behind closed doors while a reduced crowd of 20,000 watched last season’s final between Leicester and Chelsea.
The FA Cup – the world’s longest-running knockout football competition – is celebrating its 150th anniversary, having started in the 1871-72 season.
The final will be decided on the day and teams will be able to name nine substitutes and make five substitutions, with a sixth allowed if it goes to extra time.
Chelsea midfielders Mateo Kovacic (ankle) and Ngolo Kante will face late fitness tests, while Liverpool midfielder Fabinho will miss out with a hamstring problem.
Culled from https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/61429640