The FA Cup final on Saturday will see favorites Liverpool battle Chelsea at the storied Wembley Stadium. This will be the second final that these two sides have played this season after battling in the EFL Cup Final back in February. It’s also their fourth meeting overall. No goals were scored in that EFL Cup final, but Liverpool needed 11 converted penalty kicks to squeak past the Blues, 11-10. This time around, the expectation is for Liverpool to come out on top again while the Blues try to add this piece of hardware alongside the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup in what has been a wild season highlighted by the change of ownership. In all three of their meetings this season, two of which were in the Premier League, no team has been able to win in regulation.
Here’s our storylines, how you can watch the match and more:
How to watch and odds
Date: Saturday, May 14 | Time: 12:30 p.m. ET
Location: Wembley Stadium — London, United Kingdom
TV: None | Live stream: ESPN+
Odds: Chelsea +255; Draw +255; Liverpool +105 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Chelsea: N’Golo Kante is back in training for the Blues, and it comes at a good time considering the injury issues in defense. Jorginho just recently returned, but Mateo Kovacic’s status is unclear after a nasty challenge suffered from Dan James over the weekend. Otherwise, Thomas Tuchel has his core available for this clash.
Tuchel said on Friday that Kovacic’s injury isn’t anything new, but it is more pain in an already existing ligament tear.
“It’s pretty surprising to be in the situation where we can try, and Mateo wants to try it. And the medical department gave the green light to try it,” Tuchel said ahead of the match. “The advantage is the ligament is torn already from the last incident [in the FA Cup semifinal], so there is no new injury, just heavy pain. His ankle was heavily swollen. We are hoping that maybe time is enough for him to make it.”
Liverpool: The only real injury concern for Liverpool rests on Fabinho, who came off against Aston Villa midweek. The Brazilian has been dealing with thigh issues and doesn’t look like he’ll play in this one. Manager Jurgen Klopp said on Friday that Fabinho will be back for the Champions League final on May 28 against Real Madrid on CBS and Paramount+. The issue Klopp faces is dealing with the demand and obligation to rotate players with such a congested fixture list with the team still in the running for three more trophies.
“When you go for three or four trophies, it’s clear you get it or you don’t. It’s a busy season, but it will never happen that the FA Cup is just a normal game. It’s a special game and, for some, the biggest in their career. We want to enjoy it and deliver for our people,” Klopp said in his pre-match press conference.
But he is looking at the EFL Cup final win over the Blues as a victory. He wants his team to be hungry and show on Saturday what they didn’t in that game.
“We didn’t ‘beat’ Chelsea. We won the shootout,” Klopp said. “I’ve said a few times without luck you have no chance, and luck was on our side that day. We know how good Chelsea are. Both teams will go for it.”
Mohamed Salah punishes his old team, scoring twice and leading the Reds to cup glory. Pick: Liverpool 2, Chelsea 1