Liverpool vs. Chelsea: Who Will Win Saturday's FA Cup Final at Wembley?

James Williams@WordmandcAnalyst IIIMay 4, 2012

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 01:  Mousa Dembele of Fulham challenges Fabio Aurelio of Liverpool during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Fulham at Anfield on May 1, 2012 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

The FA Cup Final at famed Wembley Stadium in London between Chelsea and Liverpool has generated plenty of buzz among soccer fans here in America. Not to mention, the non-stop talk on London’s TalkSport radio station, where supporters of both sides have been calling in.

Fox Soccer will telecast Saturday’s FA Cup live, starting with pregame coverage at 11 a.m. followed by kickoff at 11:30 a.m. from Wembley.

During a conference call this week, Fox Soccer analysts Warren Barton and Eric Wynalda had plenty to say about the match.

Barton on the matchup:

Chelsea are slight favorites. In recent years, they’ve had a lot of success at Wembley in the FA Cup, but on the other hand, you have Kenny Dalglish and a motivated Liverpool side. When you think of the FA Cup, you think of teams like Chelsea and Liverpool, so this is a historic match up in many ways.

Barton on which team needs the win more:

Both clubs need this game for difference reasons. Liverpool needs to win for prestige, momentum and belief, while Chelsea needs it for credibility—they need more silverware. 

Liverpool has gotten back into the swing of it by winning the League Cup and winning some silverware for the first time in many years, whereas Chelsea are still building their trophy cabinet and need that street cred.

Liverpool want this trophy to make a statement and say that they’re back—two cups in one season is a nice year. For Chelsea, this is another chance to build the club’s credentials.

Wynalda on Chelsea’s Fernando Torres versus Liverpool’s Luis Suarez:

I’d take Suarez, mainly because he really hasn’t had to deal with the ups and downs of form. He’s actually been pretty solid throughout the season, and he just had an eight‐game suspension, which is not the same as going on an eight‐game slump.

Wynalda on Chelsea’s prospects:

In a one‐off FA Cup Final game, I think Chelsea will be up for it. They have a great mix of talent and experience, and on paper they should win this game. And in my opinion, [Liverpool] don’t have the quality to beat Chelsea right now. That said, Liverpool will make the necessary moves this summer.

Wynalda on Chelsea’s potential lineup:

It will be a different cast of characters in Munich for Chelsea [in the UEFA Champions LeagueFinal], so if they can win an FA Cup the excitement will drive them even further. It could possibly take a little bit of pressure of Roberto Di Matteo, knowing that the lineup he puts out on Saturday will be very different than the one playing in the Champions League Final due to suspension. It will have a massive effect if they can win the FA Cup, they will be flying high by the time they get to Munich.



Match Stats (Provided to Bleacher Report via Email from Fox Sports on Thursday)

Only three teams have previously won the League Cup and FA Cup in the same season: Arsenal (1992‐1993), Liverpool (2000‐2001) and Chelsea (2006‐2007).

This will be the 10th FA Cup meeting between these two sides, and the first FA Cup Final. There has never been a draw in the nine previous FA Cup meetings between these teams, with Chelsea holding a narrow (5‐4) advantage in the head‐to‐head record. 

The Reds have won four of their last five FA Cup Final matches, the last victory coming after a penalty shoot‐out against West Ham United in 2006. Liverpool has won its last four games against Chelsea in all competitions, scoring seven goals and conceding just one in the process.

Excluding the Community Shield, Chelsea forward Didier Drogba has scored in all seven of his matches at Wembley Stadium.

Liverpool’s Luis Suarez has scored in all three of his FA Cup appearances for the Reds.


James Williams is a contributor for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained firsthand. 


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