London’s Wembley Stadium will be the setting on May 5 when Liverpool takes on Chelsea for the English FA Cup. Liverpool will be attempting to lift the famous trophy for the eighth time while Chelsea will try to pull level with them by winning it for the seventh time. Chelsea’s Juan Mata is leading his team in FA Cup scoring with four goals in the tournament so far this season while Andy Carroll has three for Liverpool.
These two teams were drawn against each other on several occasions a few years ago when they kept playing each other in cup competitions, including the European Champions League. Most of them were very close games that were won by just a single goal and there were a couple of 0-0 Champions League draws. This will be their 31st meeting in the last eight years.
Their last Cup Final meeting came back in 2005 when they battled it out for the Carling Cup. Chelsea won the game when Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard scored an own-goal. The 31-year-old Gerrard will hope to reverse his club’s fortunes on Saturday and fans will be hoping he can carry the team on his shoulders as he has done so many times in the past.
On the other side of the pitch, Chelsea skipper John Terry will be expected to do the same thing with his Chelsea teammates. Gerrard has already led Liverpool to a cup final win this year as they managed to push aside Cardiff City in the Carling Cup Final in February, but had to go to a penalty shootout to do it. However, both teams are going into this game on the back of a loss as Liverpool was beaten 1-0 at home by Fulham and Chelsea lost 2-0 at home to Newcastle during the week in Premier League games.
The battle of strikers should be an interesting one with Luis Suarez leading the attack for Liverpool and Didier Drogba spearheading the front line for Chelsea. Both players have been in fine form lately and should give the defenders a tough time of it. One of these players could very well turn out to be the hero of the day. Drogba, especially, always shines when he plays at Wembley with a goal in each of his seven games there, other than the Community Shield. Suarez has scored in all three of his FA Cup games this season.
It’s a huge game for the managers too. Chelsea’s Roberto Di Matteo is with the club on an interim basis after former manager Andre Vilas Boas was sacked earlier in the season while Kenny Dalglish has led Liverpool to one of their worst league showings in years. Both of their jobs may be on the line here. However, should Chelsea lose, they have the chance to gain some glory on May 19 when they travel to Munich to take on Bayern Munich in the Champions League Final.
Liverpool will be without Lucas Leiva and Charlie Adam as they’re both out with injuries. Chelsea is hoping that defenders Gary Cahill and David Luiz are healthy enough to play. Liverpool has won the last four games between the two, but look for this one to go to extra time and possibly penalties.
Over at the William Hill sportsbook the odds of a 90-minute draw are 9/4 with a Liverpool win at 2/1 and a Chelsea victory at 11/8.