Wednesday, 2 May 2012

FA Cup Final Preview: Chelsea v Liverpool

As we come to the end of the season, we see the FA Cup final arrive and a chance for silverware. After a Premier League v Championship clash in the Carling Cup final this year, we have two Premier League clubs taking each other on at Wembley. Chelsea who have been revitalised under temporary boss Roberto Di Matteo take on Carling Cup winners and an under performing Liverpool side. The London side have an important few weeks ahead of them as they try to secure a top four finish in the league as well as a Champions League final too against German giants Bayern Munich. On the other hand, Liverpool have had another inconsistent season in the league only winning five home games all year. The Carling Cup final win against Cardiff in February gave fans some silverware to sing about and a win this weekend will do no harm either.

After the sacking of former boss Andre Villas Boas, Chelsea were in disarray. Months later and the Blues are now in a position noone would have predicted at the start of the year. Under temporary manager Di Matteo, Chelsea's form have seen them battling it out for a top four finish in the league and two cup finals to play. This weekend's final against Liverpool is the first final for the club since the 2009/10 season where they beat Portsmouth 1-0 at Wembley to win the FA Cup. Striker Fernando Torres has rediscovered his form of old and after scoring four goals in his last two games, the Spaniard will want to continue finding the net against his old club. Fellow forward Didier Drogba has an incredible record at Wembley scoring an impressive seven goals in his seven appearances there. With it looking likely that Drogba will leave at the end of this season, he will want to reward the fans with one last strike. Defensively Chelsea look likely to be without Gary Cahill and David Luiz who are nursing injuries and with a hugely important midweek clash at home to Newcastle, the squad will certainly be stretched this week.

After another poor season in the league, Liverpool set their eyes upon their second cup final of the season. Success at the hands of Cardiff in February's Carling Cup final has been the only positive come from their year. Dismal home form has seen them win only five games out of a possible 18. Kenny Dalglish's side have though shown what a good side they can be in this years cups. Victories against both Manchester clubs, Chelsea and Everton this year in both cups has taken away the up and down season they have endured in the league. Since an eight game ban for racism, striker Luis Suarez has shone with some important goals including the equaliser in the semi final of the FA Cup against Everton. A stunning hat trick against Norwich at the weekend, which included a 45-yard lob, has given the Uruguayan some positives to take away from the season. Apart from long term absentees Charlie Adam and Lucas Leiva, Dalglish will take a fully fit squad to London which will see them play at Wembley for the third time this season.

One to watch: Juan Mata (Chelsea) 
After just one season in England, Juan Mata has shown why he was so highly rated at Valencia. The Spaniard has given Chelsea that added spark in midfield and his creativity has seen him become one of the side's key members. His excellent vision and his hard work at both ends of the pitch, Mata will be very important if Chelsea are to come out winners on Saturday. He has had played in a number of positions this year, part of a front three or as a wide man and has looked comfortable every time. He has scored a number of important goals this year for the club including the 'ghost goal' against Tottenham Hotspur in the recent semi final.

One to watch: Steven Gerrard (Liverpool) 
Captain fantastic is going to have to have an excellent game this weekend if he is to add another medal to his collection. Gerrard showed why he is so vital to this club when he scored a wonderful hat trick against rivals Everton in the 3-0 home win earlier on in the year. His determination and his ability to change games has seen the midfielder become one of the all time greats at Anfield. Gerrard will want a repeat of the Carling Cup win  which saw his side reach a final since the Champions League final in 2007. Gerrard has been unfortunate with injuries this season and the Englishman will do all he can to drive his team to success in the clubs second final of the season. 

Prediction: Liverpool 1-2 Chelsea

1 comment:

  1. Hello Steve,
    Nice blog, keep it up!
    From a Chelsea fan :D