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Who will win at Wembley? Who are the main players?

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Premier League teams may have to win just six matches to lift the men’s FA Cup, but Saturday’s final (11:45AM ET Live on ESPN+, US onlyIt will still feel more like a marathon than a sprint for Chelsea and Liverpool. This weekend’s match concludes the 150th edition of the world’s oldest cup competition, a milestone that the Royal Mint deemed appropriately large to create a special £2 coin to celebrate.

The result looks like a coin flip too. Chelsea and Liverpool had a very interesting Carabao Cup final at Wembley just 76 days ago, without goals at the end of 120 minutes and decided by the best margins – penalties ended 11-10 as the Blues goalkeeper. Kepa Arizabalaga His penalty skated over the bar.

For Chelsea, this will be the 61st game in a difficult season that began with a European Super Cup win in Belfast, continued with the success of the Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi, and now ends under penalty amid a dramatic takeover after U,K, the government’s decision to penalize current owner Roman Abramovich for his alleged ties to With Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Blues coach Thomas Tuchel has admitted his players are showing signs of fatigue after such a grueling campaign, and Jurgen Klopp can sympathize. Saturday will be Liverpool’s 60th game from 2021 to 22, and both clubs will conclude in 63 matches as the Reds’ season ends in Paris with the Champions League final against Real Madrid on May 28.

Although Liverpool’s Premier League title hopes are fading as Manchester City continue to win relentlessly, Klopp’s side still have a chance of achieving an unprecedented quad. The next stop can be secured at Wembley.

– O’Hanlon: 6 key questions for Saturday’s FA Cup Final (+E)
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Who needs this more?

Given the history at stake, perhaps Liverpool. Klopp has sought to dismiss any quadruple talk, but success in four competitions would elevate this Liverpool side to an undisputed position as one of the greatest teams in English football history. However, that award they are not coveting in the least considering the Premier League and Champions League titles still stands.

Tuchel will feel his players deserve something to show for the professionalism they have shown while the club’s existence feels uncertain. Abramovich released his first statement trying to walk away from the club the night before the Carabao Cup Final on February 23. Since then, Tuchel has had to answer questions about everything from war to morals while maintaining morale among a group of players and staff who face the limitations of day-to-day operations caused by the terms of a special government license granted to keep the fixtures fulfilled.

A consortium led by Todd Boehle, part owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, is now seeking UK government and Premier League approval to complete the acquisition. Bohley is likely to be at Wembley on Saturday as Chelsea prepares for a new era. What better way to start than a club’s ninth FA Cup win? For their part, Liverpool will equal Chelsea in eight wins if they win.

Any injury issues to consider?

Saturday will be the fourth meeting between these two teams this season, with the previous three encounters technically ending in a draw, and Chelsea’s ability to compete with Liverpool was based on a high-pressure match played in a 3-4-2-1 formation. For this reason, more than any other reason, Tuchel will be inclined to recover Kai Havertz To lead the attack on the account Romelu Lukakuwho started the last two matches in the English Premier League, and scored three times.

Lukaku caused trouble for Liverpool off the bench in the Carabao Cup final, and the role of an “impressive substitute” could be effective once again. Tuchel must decide whether Christian PulisicAnd Timo Werneror Hakim Ziyech Play along with Mount. Werner’s finish is often in doubt, but his speed is not, and that speed would be a useful weapon against Liverpool’s high streak.

Possible absence of Mateo Kovacic It’s a huge blow as Tuchel sees his brilliance of possession as vital to Chelsea’s ability to dictate matches. Kovacic spent Friday trying to get back to training after suffering an ankle problem in a last-ditch effort to get back in shape at his side. N’Golo Kanti – The Best of N’Golo Kanti, who suffered from a series of annoying muscular problems. There is a bit of optimism surrounding Kante, and he’s likely to be a partner Jorginho In the middle of the field. If both Kovacic and Kante are deemed unavailable, Ruben Loftus-Cheek The one who scored in Chelsea’s semi-final win over Crystal Palace will be recruited.

Jurgen Klopp made five changes to Aston Villa’s win and left-back on Tuesday Andrew Robertson It is sure to be remembered, as it is Mohamed Salah After his 18-minute veil in Villa Park. No player in Liverpool has scored more goals than Sadio Mane (12) since the beginning of February and so he will definitely start, leaving Klopp with the decision to choose the live broadcast. Luis DiazAnd Diogo Jotaor Roberto Firmino Like his third attacker. in the midfield, Fabinho He will be largely absent after picking up a hamstring injury against Aston Villa on Tuesday, but he should be fit for at least the Champions League final.

Who are the main players?

Salah, Mane and Diaz are all obvious threats to Liverpool but they look a little deeper like Chelsea Mason Mount He will feel that he has a certain point to prove. The 23-year-old was guilty of two missteps in the Carabao Cup final on either side of the first half, which would have turned the match without goals in favor of the Blues.

Mount was in good shape with a goal and assist in Wednesday’s 3-0 win over Leeds, and although Tuchel will make changes to the squad, Mount is expected to hold his place. He will be looking for space in an area of ​​the field that seems certain Fabinho will clear it.

Jordan Henderson He replaced Fabinho at Villa Park and the England international will have a key role in stopping the Chelsea strikers’ supply line while also helping Liverpool break pressure from the Blues. Thiago Alcantara She was one of those who had initially rested in Villa Park before coming Curtis Jones The level of scoring against Villa, and it was the Spaniard’s pass that launched the attack that led to Mane’s winning goal.

Thiago arguably put in his best performance for Liverpool in last month’s FA Cup semi-final win over Manchester City and would be desperate to play, having missed the Carabao Cup final after sustaining a hamstring injury in the warm-up.

game

0:45

Gap and Jules discuss who Thomas Tuchel should choose to face Liverpool in the FA Cup Final.

manager’s hour

This is the first time that two German coaches have played in the FA Cup Final. This is the nineteenth meeting between the duo, with Klopp taking a strong lead after winning 10 and drawing five. Both are establishing themselves among the greats at their clubs, with Klopp becoming only the second Liverpool manager to lead a team to four major finals (the League Cup, the Europa League, the Champions League and the FA Cup) while Tuchel achieved the same feat at Chelsea, something only Jose Mourinho had done in Previous.

Impressively, Tuchel’s success comes after just one year and 108 days as head coach. Chelsea have lost their previous two FA Cup finals, but only one game has been under Tuchel, as his predecessor Frank Lampard suffered a defeat to Arsenal at empty Wembley due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Klopp’s status as one of the game’s greatest coaches of the modern era is assured no matter the outcome, but for Tuchel, the win will be a confirmation of his methods and a reminder before what a busy transfer window at Stamford Bridge Chelsea can do. He still rivals the best despite a change of ownership and a somewhat disappointing Premier League campaign.

Prediction: Chelsea 1-2 Liverpool

It’s hard to see how this will lack goals like the Carabao Cup final. Although Chelsea beat Leeds comfortably in the middle of the week, their latest form is worrying. Liverpool’s superior attacking options should give them the advantage.

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