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May 6, 2012 2:15 AM EST
Wembley Stadium — London
Referee:‬ P. Dowd‎
Attendance:‬ 89102‎
64′ Andy Carroll
Ramires 11′

Liverpool - Chelsea Preview: Giants clash for 31st time in eight seasons in FA Cup final

Both sides are hoping to secure two trophies this season despite disappointing league form and will renew an old rivalry to do so in the showpiece climax at Wembley

By George Ankers

EPL - Chelsea v Liverpool, Craig Bellamy and Frank Lampard
Getty Images


Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Enrique
Henderson, Shelvey
Downing, Gerrard, Bellamy

Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry, Cole

Mikel, Meireles
Ramires, Lampard, Mata

The continued absences of Lucas Leiva (cruciate ligaments) and Charlie Adam (knee) mean that Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish will have to choose between youngsters Jay Spearing and Jonjo Shelvey in central midfield, with the latter's better showing in Tuesday's 1-0 loss to Fulham perhaps enough to secure a starting role.

Luis Suarez was rested for that game but he should return, having hit a hat-trick in his last outing against Norwich City as the main striker, with captain Steven Gerrard set to support him and potential partner Andy Carroll dropping to the bench.

The worry for interim Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo will be at centre-back, where David Luiz and Gary Cahill (both hamstring) are serious doubts to be able to partner John Terry at the back. The likelihood is that neither will be risked and Branislav Ivanovic will start alongside the Blues' captain.

Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard should return to the starting line-up after starting the midweek defeat by Newcastle on the bench, while Fernando Torres' recent streak of form, including a hat-trick against QPR on Sunday, may not be enough for him to retain his place ahead of Didier Drogba.

  • This will be the 31st occasion in the past eight seasons which these two clubs have met.
  • Liverpool have conceded exactly one goal in each of their FA Cup matches this season.
  • Two goals in this final would see Steven Gerrard overtake Reds manager Kenny Dalglish as the club's joint-fourth most successful FA Cup goalscorer. The Scot's record, held alongside Billy Liddell, stands at 13, though remains some way behind leader Ian Rush on 39.
  • Chelsea's Raul Meireles and Fernando Torres, as well as Liverpool's Glen Johnson, are set to face their former sides.
  • Chelsea have not beaten Liverpool since May 2010, and have been defeated in each of their last four bouts.
  • Since Roberto Di Matteo took over as interim manager, the Blues have lost just two of their 17 games, winning 11 and drawing four.
  • Chelsea's last three FA Cup final victories (in 2006-07, 2008-09, and 2009-10) have all involved a goal from Didier Drogba (pictured right).
  • Six Blues players have reached double figures in terms of goals scored in all competitions this season, while only Luis Suarez has done so for the Reds.
  • The last time that these two sides met, Johnson scored the winner in a 2-1 Premier League triumph for Dalglish's men at Stamford Bridge on November 20.
  • These teams will face each other again only three days after this match, as their scheduled league clash was bumped to Tuesday to accommodate the final at Wembley.

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Last Five Matches
Team News
Available Squads
25Pepe ReinaGoalkeeper
2Glen JohnsonDefender
5Daniel AggerDefender
37Martin SkrtelDefender
3José EnriqueDefender
19Stewart DowningMidfielder
8Steven GerrardMidfielder
20Jay SpearingMidfielder
14Jordan HendersonMidfielder
7Luis SuárezStriker
39Craig BellamyStriker
9Andy CarrollStriker
11Dirk KuytStriker
23Jamie CarragherDefender
34Martin KellyDefender
8Jonjo ShelveyMidfielder
11Maxi RodríguezMidfielder
1Petr CechGoalkeeper
3Ashley ColeDefender
26John TerryDefender
3José BosingwaDefender
2Branislav IvanovicDefender
8Frank LampardMidfielder
12John Obi MikelMidfielder
11Didier DrogbaStriker
8Salomon KalouStriker
8Juan MataStriker
14Raúl MeirelesMidfielder
15Florent MaloudaMidfielder
15Daniel SturridgeStriker
9Fernando TorresStriker
-Michael EssienMidfielder
20Paulo FerreiraDefender
21Ross TurnbullGoalkeeper
Probable Lineups
Pepe Reina 25
Glen Johnson 2
Daniel Agger 5
Martin Skrtel 37
José Enrique 3
Stewart Downing 19
Steven Gerrard 8
Jay Spearing 20
Jordan Henderson 14
Luis Suárez 7
Craig Bellamy 39
Petr Cech 1
Ashley Cole 3
John Terry 26
José Bosingwa 3
Branislav Ivanovic 2
Frank Lampard 8
John Obi Mikel 12
Ramires 7
Didier Drogba 11
Salomon Kalou 8
Juan Mata 8
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Joe Garner Joe Garner
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