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FA Cup Final: strikers will play key role at Wembley

| 04.05.2012

A terrible league campaign has been somewhat papered over by success in the knockout competitions for Liverpool after Kenny Dalglish’s men secured the Carling Cup earlier in the season.

They are now looking for their first victory in England’s premier cup competition since 2006 and are priced at 5/4 to claim the trophy.

Their opponents Chelsea are 4/6 to win their first silverware of the season and they have a fantastic FA Cup pedigree as they endeavour to lift the cup for the third time in four years.

Roberto Di Matteo has turned his side’s fortunes round of late but defeat to Newcastle last time out indicated fatigue may be starting to show as the business end of the season takes its toll.

The two have met nine times previously in the FA Cup and there has never been a stalemate so avoiding the draw after 90 minutes at 11/5 may be wise.

This means a winner is most likely to be produced inside normal time and the Blues are 13/10 to score the win while the Reds are slight outsiders at 21/10.

Chelsea have both Gary Cahill and David Luiz missing at the back, which will be an area 7/1 first scorer shot Luis Suarez will look to exploit.

Liverpool long term absentee Lucas is unavailable as is Scottish international Charlie Adam.

Both managers will have dilemmas on their hands as to who leads their respective lines up front.

Di Matteo must choose between Didier Drogba and ex-Liverpool man Fernando Torres.

Torres scored the crucial goal in the Nou Camp and last week netted a hat-trick against QPR, while Drogba has a supreme record in FA Cup finals, scoring the decisive goal in two and the opening goal in one of his three FA Cup successes.

Dalglish must decide whether to start the much talked about Andy Carroll.

The Geordie number nine has struggle this season but has found form of late and bagged the winner in the semi-final and his boss is likely to give him the opportunity to shine again.



Aaron Cox

Aaron has written for a number of top-level publications, including FourFourTwo and the Manchester Evening News. As well as being a fanatical Rochdale AFC fan and blogger, he shares a passion for rugby league and golf.