In a repeat of this season’s League Cup final, Chelsea and Liverpool will go head-to-head once again at Wembley Stadium – this time in the 141st FA Cup final. Liverpool won February’s League Cup on penalties and the Reds will be looking to add the second trophy of a possible quadruple.
Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool side are second in the Premier League table and also through to the final of the Uefa Champions League. Since his appointment in 2015 he has led the Anfield club to five trophies. Should captain Jordan Henderson lift the cup on Saturday, it would see the German boss “complete the set” – the Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup, Champions League, Super Cup and Fifa Club World Cup, said the Liverpool Echo. “I absolutely love this competition,” Klopp wrote in his programme notes. “I recognise its importance in our club’s own history and how much it means to our supporters.”
For Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel he is also looking for a first FA Cup title. In his first year at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea won the Champions League, Uefa Super Club and Fifa Club World Cup, but lost the FA Cup final 1-0 to Leicester City. “This is a huge match in every sense,” Tuchel wrote. “These days, if you play in the final against either Liverpool or Manchester City, it cannot be bigger.”
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
FA Cup final kick-off time and TV coverage
The FA Cup final between Chelsea and Liverpool takes place on Saturday 14 May, kick-off is at 4.45pm (BST). Football fans in the UK can watch the Wembley clash live on BBC One and ITV. Ahead of the match, the BBC’s cup final day coverage starts at midday with Football Focus, followed by MOTDx, Match of the Day Top 10: Most Memorable FA Cup Finals, FA Cup Rewind, and The FA Cup 2021/22: Road to Wembley. ITV’s match coverage begins at 3.45pm.
Pundit predictions: who will win the FA Cup?
According to Oddschecker.com, the bookies have Liverpool as 4/7 favourites to lift the FA Cup on Saturday, while Chelsea are priced at 13/8. The Reds are also highly fancied by the pundits.
Expect an “open-ended encounter” in Saturday’s “gargantuan” final, said Ben Knapton on Sports Mole. Securing a first-ever FA Cup would be “the perfect way” for Klopp to celebrate his recent contract extension, while Chelsea’s “Wembley curse” is yet to be lifted – the Blues have lost their last five domestic finals at the national stadium. “We expect the red side of the stadium to be celebrating after 90 minutes as the Blues’ FA Cup misery is prolonged,” Knapton added. “Liverpool 2-1.”
That same scoreline is also what Michael Potts is predicting on Radio Times. Liverpool boast “so much talent going forward” that it’s “hard to look beyond them” in any game, he said. Sadio Mane is the “latest hero on the rotating merry-go-round of match-winners”. If he doesn’t step up again, “Mo Salah will, Luis Diaz will, Diogo Jota will, Roberto Firmino will, even Divock Origi will”.
Liverpool will come into this match with “every belief” they can beat Chelsea, said BoyleSports. With the quadruple still possible, and Chelsea’s recent form “haunting them”, this looks like the FA Cup will be “heading back to Merseyside for the first time since 2006”.
There’s been “so little to split these two sides this season”, although Chelsea have looked “a lot less structured in big games of late”, said Jonathan Gorrie in the London Evening Standard. “Given their firepower, Liverpool could take advantage. Liverpool to win 2-1.”
The final will be a “fantastic” game, but “I don’t think this will be a walkover for Liverpool”, said Alan Brazil on talkSPORT. “I’d be going for a 2-2 in the 90 minutes and maybe one of them to find the winner in the extra 30. Liverpool are favourites of course, but it won’t be as easy as what some people think.”
Liverpool have been dealt a big blow with midfielder Fabinho ruled out with a hamstring injury. Could this be a major factor in the final? Paul Merson thinks so. “When I first thought about this game, I was inkling towards a draw,” Merson said on SportsKeeda. “But I fancy Chelsea to win it 2-1 as Fabinho’s absence swings the game in the Blues’s favour.”
The road to Wembley
How Chelsea reached the final:
- Third round: Chelsea 5 Chesterfield 1
- Fourth round: Chelsea 2 Plymouth Argyle 1 (aet)
- Fifth round: Luton Town 2 Chelsea 3
- Quarter-final: Middlesbrough 0 Chelsea 2
- Semi-final: Chelsea 2 Crystal Palace 0
How Liverpool reached the final:
- Third round: Liverpool 4 Shrewsbury Town 1
- Fourth round: Liverpool 3 Cardiff City 1
- Fifth round: Liverpool 2 Norwich City 1
- Quarter-final: Nottingham Forest 0 Liverpool 1
- Semi-final: Manchester City 2 Liverpool 3
Chelsea women go for the double
Chelsea’s women’s team are also looking to win more silverware this weekend. The Women’s Super League champions play in the Women’s FA Cup final against Manchester City at Wembley on Sunday. It’s the first time both the men’s and women’s FA Cup finals have been held on the same weekend.
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.