Didier Drogba and former Liverpool forward Fernando Torres appear to be in competition for one central striking berth in the Chelsea line-up. Defenders Gary Cahill and David Luiz are out with hamstring injuries but Chelsea have no other injury worries.
Long-term midfield absentees Lucas Leiva and Charlie Adam are Liverpool’s only injury concerns. Striker Luis Suarez and captain Steven Gerrard are set to return after missing Tuesday’s 1-0 defeat by Fulham. Chelsea coach Roberto di Matteo, who has transformed their season since taking over from Andre Villas-Boas at the beginning of March, has a special affinity with the FA Cup and holds two records that can never be broken.
His goal after 43 seconds for Chelsea in the 1997 win over Middlesbrough was the fastest scored in the final at the old Wembley and his winner against Aston Villa in 2000 was the last FA Cup final goal there before the stadium was demolished.
Now he has the chance to become the third Italian manager in three years to win the Cup after Chelsea’s Carlo Ancelotti in 2010 and Manchester City’s Roberto Mancini last year.
“It is important we keep going. We want to win the FA Cup, and the Champions League, and although we have done well to get to the finals, we have not won anything yet.”
Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish regards the FA Cup final against Chelsea as more than just an opportunity to compensate for his team’s disappointing Premier League season.
Dalglish believes there is still plenty of glory in winning football’s oldest competition.
“There is an obsession with the Premier League simply because of what it holds for every club and the value financially, but there is a satisfaction from winning a cup competition which you don’t get from finishing fifth or sixth.”
Liverpool have already picked up a trophy this season with a win over Cardiff City on penalties in the Carling Cup Final back in February…
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