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FA Cup Final Preview: Chelsea vs. Liverpool

This Sunday, Chelsea and Liverpool battle at Wembley for the FA Cup. upstart's Jake D'Amato looks at Chelsea's chances of capturing its fourth title in six years, and the possibility of Liverpool completing a domestic cup double.

Chelsea has been the most dominant team in recent history, and on Sunday the team will be aiming for their fourth title in only six years. On the other hand, Liverpool will be looking to complete a domestic cup double and become only the fourth team in English football history to do so.

On Sunday morning (1am kick-off EST) the Blues will come up against Liverpool in the FA Cup final. These teams are two of the most prolific in FA Cup history; Liverpool having won the competition seven times and Chelsea six.

The Managers

For Roberto Di Matteo this is a massive occasion, if he is able to win a title from the position he took over Chelsea in March, then he may just earn himself a contract extension.

Di Matteo is also looking to become just the 17th person in history to have won the FA Cup as both a player and manager. Opposing manager Kenny Dalglish has already achieved this feat and will be looking to win his third FA Cup as Liverpool manager.

Both managers will go in, thinking they have a good chance of winning the match, and so they should, these two teams usually find themselves in tight contests against one another.

Road to the final

Chelsea has had the easier of the draws during the FA Cup competition, coming up against only two top-flight opponents, with one of them being Queens Park. But, in their semi-final the Blues did hand Tottenham Hotspurs a (5-1) thrashing to stamp their authority on the competition.

Chelsea also accounted for Birmingham, Leicester and Portsmouth, on their way to the final.

Liverpool had some impressive wins on their campaign, Andy Carrol provided a late winner against Everton in the semi-final, but their (2-1) win against Premier League powerhouse Manchester United (2-1) was more impressive.

Liverpool also overcame Stoke, Brighton and Oldham along the way.

Key players

Torres vs. Carrol

Although these two men will not play on each other directly, there is a sense of competition between them after they were both signed on record breaking deals last year.

Fernando Torres was purchased by Chelsea from the Reds for no less than $81.1 million (50 million pounds), and Andy Carrol was bought by Liverpool as his replacement for $55 million (35 million pounds).

But, neither man has lived up to his expectations since arriving at their respective clubs, so on the big stage they are given an opportunity to prove their worth.

Since he began playing for Liverpool, Carrol has managed an ordinary 11 goals in 54 matches, well down on the standard he set whilst playing at Newcastle.

Torres, has been a bigger let down in some respects, thus far in his career at Chelsea, after hitting 65 goals in 102 appearances for Liverpool, he has since only managed 12 goals for Chelsea in 64 games.

Both, however, have recently scored important goals for their teams.

Carrol produced a late winner against Everton to get Liverpool through to the final and Torres netted a late equaliser against Barcelona to allow Chelsea to proceed to the Champions League final.

Torres however in the past few weeks has shown glimpses of the form that saw him being bought by Chelsea. He nailed a hat-trick against QPR in their (6-1) win on Sunday, his second goal, although scrappy was somewhat special. It seemed as though for the first time the Chelsea fans accepted him, rather than chanting ‘what a waste of money’, the crowd embraced Torres as one of their own.

This may be a turning point in his career at Chelsea, and although both Torres and Carrol are out to prove a point, Torres seems the more likely candidate to produce something special on Sunday.

Head to Head/Last time they met

The sides have met nine times in FA Cup history, with Chelsea prevailing in five and Liverpool four, but this will be the first meeting between the two sides in a final.

Their most recent of FA Cup clashes was the 2005-6 semi final, which saw Liverpool come out on top 2-1.

The two have met twice so far this season, once in the Premier League and once in the Carling Cup.

A late winner from Glen Johnson saw Liverpool triumph at Stamford Bridge in November, the Premier League win had Dalglish jumping for joy against a lacklustre Chelsea outfit.

This (2-1) victory was backed up by the Reds just nine days later as they casually dismantled Chelsea in the Carling Cup quarter finals, running out convincing winners (2-0) once again at Stamford Bridge.


These two victories may mean very little now though, with both games being a little over five months ago and these were games against Villas-Boas’ Chelsea, which now seems light-years away from Di Matteo’s Chelsea.

The squads are the same, but Chelsea is more buoyant in attack than they have been all season, as was evident in their recent six goal haul against Queens Park.

With Torres also managing to find his feet, being dangerously close to his devastating best Chelsea should be able to prevail.

Chelsea 3-1

Fernando Torres in action

Fernando Torres in action By Ronnie Macdonald via Wikimedia Commons



Jake D’Amato is a third year Bachelor of Journalism student at La Trobe, and is part of the upstart editorial team. Follow him on Twitter @jdamato32


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