It’s the big one, at least that’s what all the Liverpool fans will tell you. With the small matter of the Champions League final to contend for Chelsea this, as seems to so often be the case these days, may not be the biggest match on their mind.
Both teams have the opportunity to claim the season to be a success and the slightly dubious and condescending title of ‘cup team’ with a win. Liverpool will be looking to complete the domestic cup double and Chelsea hope the FA Cup will be the first of a domestic and European double. How much the cups will gloss over what can only be described as indifferent league form will be put on hold for the duration of this match.
As preparation for this match in both teams decided to rest key players and ended up losing in the league. Hardly surprising, if you’re in the starting line up for a dead rubber just days before the final you can be pretty sure you’re not at the forefront of your managers mind for the big one. Both starting elevens made sure they didn’t play their way into contention by capitulating at home.
In terms of head to heads there’s no love lost between these two teams. Plenty of interesting and tasty matches, in both domestic and European competitions, being played out over the last decade. Have to say a number of those were when Liverpool were genuine title contenders, and that seems a lot longer ago than the three years it’s been. Whilst Chelsea haven’t set the league on fire this year, they’ve been much improved under Di Matteo and he can have aspirations of taking on the role full time if he does the double. His mind will be focused on this match alone, although he’ll probably have time to recall his 1997 final goal. One word. Belter. In the interest of balance, this monster from Gerrard can be watched over, and over........unless you’re a West Ham fan. As an added bonus it’ll bring back memories of the West Ham goalie. Be honest, when was the last time you heard that name?
So who’s going to come out on top? Chelsea are marginal favourites with the bookies, currently 2.54 with Betfair, which makes the 2.5 available at Boylesport better after factoring in commission. It seems Betdaq are with the majority in thinking Chelsea will win as they’re offering to refund all commission on winning bets if Liverpool end up on the cup, so they’re worth a look if you’re going for a big bet (and actually give Liverpool a chance!). If first scorer is your bag then Betfred might interest you. Their odds aren’t the best available, but there’s potential for them to be doubled or trebled if your pick gets the first goal then goes on to get a brace or a hat-trick. Suarez is coming off the back of a triple against Norwich last week and can be backed at 6/1 for the first goal scored, any goals after that will enhance your return. With solid goal scoring defenders and Andy Carroll possibly in the starting line up the 5/1 SportingBet are offering on the first goal being a header might be worth a look.
Whatever the result we’re hoping for an entertaining match and a few goals, or at least one goal as good as this............just in HD..........and with longer shorts.
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