Three months after Liverpool’s penalty shootout victory over Chelsea in the EFL Cup final, these two proud English sides once again have business to attend to at Wembley stadium.
It is the 2022 edition of the FA Cup, one of the biggest occasions on the English calendar and here’s to hoping we can cash in. Can Chelsea upset the odds and once again lift a cup under their German boss? You simply have to have a bet placed for this one, so let me look to guide you in the right direction.
To Win (90 mins)
Chelsea 51/20 | Draw 5/2 | Liverpool 21/20
To Lift the Cup
The media has reported that one of the more expensive deals in sports history is set to be completed. Chelsea have confirmed that the sale of the club is expected to be finalized in late May. Thomas Tuchel remarked that the Todd Boehly deal was good news but assured us all that his side required no ‘extra motivation’ given their now horrid run of winless games.
Third time the charm for the Blues? Chelsea have impressively made it to the final of the FA Cup for the third straight season. They have lost their previous two finals to Arsenal and Leicester respectively…but with Tuchel now at the helm, there will be many in London who are quietly confident. So, now that I have set the scene…Chelsea does not exactly come into this game with incredible gusto and confidence but underestimates them at your peril. Tuchel has lost just twice in cup competitions this season (results in 90 minutes) and he has played 21! The man is a genius, tactically astute and he has world-class players available for selection.
Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku have not enjoyed a flavourful season, but the strength – both physical and mental – and the potential of these players are able to cause any teams issues in front of goal. I mean, beating Real Madrid at the Bernabeu is seemingly not for everyone…
Chelsea route to the final:
3rd Round: 5-1 Vs. Chesterfield
4th Round: 2-1 Vs. Plymouth Argyle
5th Round: 3-2 Vs. Luton Town
Quarter-Finals: 2-0 Vs. Middlesbrough
Semi-Finals: 2-0 Vs. Crystal Palace
As the Premier League race reaches its climax, only time can tell how damaging Liverpool’s more recent results will be. You cannot help but admire how resolute Jurgen Klopp is in his approach and style. Liverpool is an attacking football side – but to say that seems too simple and almost disrespectful…in that it just fails to give credence to the depth of their play.
Luis Diaz has been brilliant. He must be amongst the best late signings in Premier League history! It is not common that a player comes into the league and almost instantly dominates their role – and this is certainly not a ‘farmers league’.
My only concern is whether Liverpool can creatively play around teams that are able to withstand their flurries of attacks. I know that might sound superficial given their recent draw against Spurs, but humour me…
Against Atletico Madrid this season the Reds were only able to turn the screw and put both encounters to bed after a red card. I am not suggesting they were not in the ascendency, or that their result was due to the cards being shown – I am just of the opinion that Klopp’s hatred for teams who set up this way is inextricably linked to how his side are seemingly always uncomfortable in those situations. Liverpool much prefer a side who are happy to have a go and leave space to be exploited.
Nevertheless, as much as it has taken me a couple minutes to just type this sentence out…Liverpool is amongst the very best, if not the best team in Europe at the moment. They should fancy their chances here.
Liverpool route to the final:
3rd Round: 4-1 Vs. Shrewsbury
4th Round: 3-1 Vs. Cardiff City
5th Round: 2-1 Vs. Norwich
Quarter-Finals: 1-0 Vs. Nottingham Forest
Semi-Finals: 3-2 Vs. Manchester City
Prediction: Draw in 90 minutes (5/2)
I know what you’re thinking, but before we rush off, hear me out. Chelsea’s cup record under Thomas Tuchel is incredible. The German has not even been at Stamford Bridge for 18 months, and already seen his side qualify for five finals. Importantly, this is all Chelsea must play for this season. Victory at Wembley could drastically change the colour and mood at the Bridge. They cannot win anything else.
I must be honest and say that I am intrigued to see the team Jurgen Klopp picks for this game. They are competing on multiple fronts, so whether we want to admit it or not, there simply has to be an order of preference and priority…Klopp hasn’t exactly always shown the FA Cup the most respect before.
However, Klopp has a far superior squad depth to his German compatriot and even with rotation I think Liverpool can field an incredible side. I think this game ends in a draw, a repeat of the EFL Cup final earlier this season. And as such the 5/2 market is good enough to invest in!