Liverpool and Chelsea renew hostilities at Wembley Stadium with a trophy on the line, as both English giants battle in the final of the 141st FA Cup final on Saturday.
For Chelsea, the FA Cup represents the only piece of domestic silverware left on the line this season as they look to end the campaign on a high.
And for Liverpool, the FA Cup is one of four trophies up for grabs for them this season after already securing the League Cup after overcome Chelsea on penalties.
While the Reds are three points adrift of Manchester City, in the race for the Premier League title, they will also face Real Madrid in the Champions League final.
And if Jurgen Klopp’s men overcome Chelsea in today’s final, it will be their first FA Cup title since 2006 where they triumphed against West Ham on penalties.
A Steven Gerard long range volley in second half stoppage time, completed a stunning comeback for Liverpool which dragged the game to extra time.
And since Liverpool last got their hands on the cup 16 years ago, Chelsea have triumphed in the 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2018 editions.
Chelsea, led by Roberto Di Matteo, even beat Liverpool in the final of the 2012 edition and will be eyeing a revenge this time around.
Meanwhile, Thomas Tuchel’s men will go into today’s clash hoping to halt an unwanted record, as no team has ever suffered three consecutive FA Cup final defeats since the turn of the millennium.
Recall Chelsea lost 2-1 to Arsenal in 2020 and fell 1-0 to Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester City in 2021 following a brilliant Youri Tielemans’ volley.
And on the injury front, Liverpool’s treatment room has remained virtually empty during their busy period, with Roberto Firmino back on the bench at Villa Park following a foot injury.
However, the Reds have been dealt a massive blow after Fabinho hobbled off with an apparent hamstring problem in Tuesday night’s victory, but the midfielder should be back for the Champions League final.
In spite of Caoimhin Kelleher’s League Cup exploits, Alisson Becker should be in goal for the FA Cup final, where Andy Robertson will return after enjoying a complete rest in midweek.
Thiago Alcantara, Ibrahima Konate, Jordan Henderson and Mohamed Salah are also among those primed to return to the first eleven.
In very similar fashion, Chelsea also witnessed one of their midfield stalwarts leave the field with a concerning injury in midweek, as Mateo Kovacic was on the receiving end of a dreadful tackle from Daniel James at Elland Road, for which the Leeds man was sent off for.
The Croatian injured the same ankle in the semi-final win over Crystal Palace, although Tuchel has not ruled out the possibility of him playing some part, while Jorginho made a timely return from an issue of his own in midweek.
N’Golo Kante’s comeback would also be welcomed with open arms, but Tuchel is “90% sure” that Jorginho and Ruben Loftus-Cheek will be in the middle for Saturday’s final, where Ben Chilwell and Callum Hudson-Odoi will watch on from the sidelines.
And the need for a physical presence against the likes of Konate and Virgil van Dijk could tempt Tuchel into handing Romelu Lukaku another start.
Red-hot Liverpool come into tonight’s clash as slight favourites, but this is the FA Cup, and Chelsea could maintain the age-long tradition of throwing up another surprise
Fingers crossed on this one…