Chelsea and Liverpool contest the 2012 FA Cup final at Wembley this Saturday evening.
Liverpool are going for a domestic cup double having already secured the Carling Cup with a penalty shoot-out win over Cardiff in February. Despite their cup success this year, Kenny Dalglish’s men are well off the pace in the league and currently sit 16 points adrift of the top four.
This failure to challenge for Champions League football next season has led to some supporters questioning King Kenny’s suitability at the helm, but a cup double would go a long way to appeasing those unhappy fans.
Chelsea also have the chance to secure a famous cup double, with a Champions League final against Bayern Munich still to come for Roberto Di Matteo’s men.
The Blues hopes of qualifying for Europe’s premier cup competition via the league looked numbered after a 2-0 home defeat to Newcastle on Wednesday, so RDM must now win the competition outright in order to book their place in the Champions League next season.
Kenny Dalglish is expected to recall a number of first team players after making nine changes for the midweek defeat to Fulham. Steven Gerrard, Pepe Reina, Luis Suarez, Glen Johnson, Jose Enrique, and Daniel Agger should all return to the starting line-up.
Andy Carroll played the full 90 minutes in midweek and Dalglish will have to decide whether to start the Geordie alongside Suarez in a two-man attack, or play the Uruguayan as a lone striker.
Roberto Di Matteo will almost certainly start John Terry, Ramires, Raul Meireles and Branislav Ivanovic as the quartet will be suspended for the Champions League final.
Gary Cahill and David Luiz haven’t trained ahead of the game, and the Italian will not rush them back for Saturday as the pair will be required for the Bayern Munich game, so they won’t be risked.
Former Liverpool striker Fernando Torres was back amongst the goals during last weeks 6-1 win over QPR, with the Spaniard hitting a hat trick. However, despite his goals it’s expected that Didier Drogba will start on Saturday due to his impressive record of scoring seven goals in seven games at Wembley.
I think we can expect a tense affair at Wembley on Saturday and these games as usually decided by the smallest of margins. We can see this one going all the way to penalties, where is basically becomes a coin flip, but we’re going with the Blues to knick it. Chelsea 1-1 Liverpool. (Chelsea to win on penalties)
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