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Who will win the 2022 FA Cup final? Reds and Blues meet for silverware again

| 08.05.2022

Who will win the 2022 FA Cup final?

Before the climax of the Premier League season we will be treated to a potentially classic FA Cup final encounter between Liverpool and Chelsea.

The two Premier League giants will meet at Wembley on 14 May and we’ve run the numbers to work out what fans can expect.

Liverpool have had the upper hand recently

These two clubs have already met in a major final this year, with Liverpool lifting the EFL Cup in February after a 0-0 draw was settled by a nail-biting 22-kick penalty shoot-out.

This reflects a broader pattern of the Reds having the edge in their recent encounters, with six of the last 10 ending in a Liverpool triumph, including another win on penalties in the 2019 European Super Cup.

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Of the remaining four, two have seen Chelsea triumph while the other two – both in this season’s Premier League – have ended in a draw. Much therefore depends on whether the recent waning in Liverpool’s dominance of this fixture is a blip or the sign of the Blues strengthening under Thomas Tuchel.

Does league performance matter?

When two clubs from the same league face off against each other in a cup competition, their respective league performances are the most obvious benchmark. Interestingly, four of the last five FA Cup finals have been won by the team who finished the season lower in the table, which is a good omen for Chelsea.

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This may be a reflection of the lower-ranked team having more to play for, or perhaps choosing to prioritise the cups once the league title was out of reach. Anyone finishing in the top four of the Premier League will already have secured Champions League football the following season, with the FA Cup offering a route into the Europa League for those who finish lower.

Which team performs better in the big games?

Both Liverpool and Chelsea have a recent Champions League triumph to their name, so neither is a stranger to the big occasion or unfamiliar with what it takes to win a high-stakes game. However, Chelsea have a better record when playing for a trophy, both in terms of experience and their success rate.

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The Reds have reached seven major finals in the last decade, winning three of them, but their only FA Cup final in this period ended in defeat. Chelsea, meanwhile, have reached a more impressive 12 finals and prevailed in seven, which included lifting the FA Cup twice. Could this greater familiarity with silverware count in their favour here?

Who has the best record against the top teams?

Over the last three seasons, Liverpool have performed better than any of the Premier League’s traditional “big six” in matches against each other. Jurgen Klopp’s side have averaged over two points per game in these encounters, which is comfortably ahead of any of the other five.

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As illustrated by their recent reverse at home to Arsenal, Chelsea have been far less successful, losing more of these matches than they have won. Even out-of-sorts Manchester United have enjoyed these occasions more than the Blues since the start of the 2019-20 campaign, which should be a source of concern for whoever takes over from Roman Abramovich as Chelsea’s new owner.

Which players could do the damage at Wembley?

There are six first-team regulars likely to be available for selection in this match who have taken at least three shots per 90 minutes in the Premier League this season and four of them play for Liverpool.

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Mohamed Salah is top of the scoring charts for a reason, having attempted to score over four times per match, and his junior team-mates Diogo Jota and Luis Díaz aren’t too far behind. In the Chelsea squad, Hakim Ziyech has been the most prolific shooter, followed by the in-form Timo Werner.

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Author

Warren Barner