Chelsea v Liverpool
FA Cup final; Wembley Stadium; Saturday, 5 May; 17:15 KO.
Gary Cahill and David Luiz are the obvious injury concerns for the Blues, with the defensive pair both missing training on Friday with hamstring injuries.
Roberto Di Matteo will also have a selection dilemma up-front, with one of either Fernando Torres or Didier Drogba likely to be preferred in a 4-3-3 formation.
Charlie Adam is the only recent injury addition for Liverpool, joining Brazilian international Lucas Leiva on the treatment table. Both players are out for the rest of the season.
Kenny Dalglish rested nine players in the 1-0 defeat to Fulham on Wednesday night, and is set to shuffle the pack again as Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez prepare to return. Daniel Agger, Jamie Carragher and Martin Skrtel are the centre back options.
Lampard & Carragher braced for final
Frank Lampard and Jamie Carragher have plenty of cup final experience between then, and are set to go head-to-head once again this weekend in the FA Cup final at Wembley.
The clash between Chelsea and Liverpool throws up a number of intriguing dynamics, with the Blues looking to make it four final victories in six years in this competition, whilst the Reds are out for a fifth consecutive win against the west London outfit.
Indeed, the two sides have met 31 times in eight seasons, and Lampard knows from previous clashes that this is going to be tough test.
He's quoted in the Radio Times saying: “We’ve played them about 10 or 15 times in the Champions League, the FA Cup and everything. It will be very tough.
“It’s going to be a massive game and we’ll have to play with the same focus and desire that we played with in the semi-final to beat them!”
For Carragher and Liverpool, the first task will be to lift themselves again after the semi-final win over Everton, which the veteran defender admits felt more like a final than a last four clash.
“It was massive. We’ve had Champions League finals, League Cup finals but that was right up there because of who we were playing and because it was at Wembley. It was more of a final than a semi-final,” he said.
Carragher was also quick to pay tribute to manager Kenny Dalglish, crediting the Scot for helping pick the club up ‘off its knees’ to a current position where they could claim a second domestic trophy in the same season.
“We were on our knees when he came back to the club. We hadn’t won a cup for six years, we hadn’t even played at new Wembley, but now we’ll have three appearances there in 12 BIG months,” he concluded.
“We’ve won the Carling Cup, and now we have a chance to win another trophy!”
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