The 141st FA Cup final sees Chelsea and Liverpool go head-to-head, and not for the first time at Wembley this season.
With one piece of silverware down already, it was Jurgen Klopp’s men that came out on top last time out in the Carabao Cup final earlier in the year, and the German’s compatriot Thomas Tuchel will certainly be out for revenge this time round.
For the Blues’, Saturday’s affair is their only shot of picking up a trophy this season, after exiting Europe at the quarter final stage at the hands of Real Madrid, although the reigning European champions, though not for long, put up a majestic fight.
In the Red corner, Liverpool will be hunting down a second trophy in game number 60 of their campaign, with the Premier League and Champions League still up for grabs as it’s a repeat of the 2018 Champions League final in Paris, with the Anfield side in it to make it European triumph number seven.
In Jurgen Klopp’s press conference on Friday, the Liverpool boss confirmed: “He [Fabinho] will definitely be back for the [Champions League] final, and for the Chelsea final, we will see, we don’t know.”
Apart from that, the Carabao Cup winners have no other injury woes, with Thomas Tuchel’s only confirmed absentees Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ben Chilwell – two players who have already missed large parts of the season.
Speaking on Kovacic, the 48-year-old said: “We will try today actually and see tomorrow, which is pretty surprising news that we are even in this situation, but Mateo wants to try it.
“The medical department gave us the green light to try it. The advantage is that the ligament is already torn from the last incident so there is no new injury but heavy pain and it is heavily swollen, so we are hoping that maybe time is enough that he makes it.”
Chelsea: Mendy; Azpilicueta, Silva, Rudiger; James, Kante, Kovacic, Alonso; Mount, Havertz, Lukaku
Liverpool: Kelleher; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Thiago, Keita; Salah, Mane, Diaz
Ones to watch
With the Chelsea man chipping in with 13 goals and 16 assists in all competitions this season, Mount has been incredible for the club he has been at since the age of six.
In the Carabao Cup final however, the England international rued his missed opportunities to put Chelsea in front on a number of occasions, but if the chances fall to him on Saturday, he’s sure to put them away having scored at Elland Road on Wednesday.
Having provided 19 assists this season and Liverpool very likely to score, don’t be surprised if Alexander-Arnold is on hand again at Wembley.
The full-back has been given a license to roam within the half-spaces further up the pitch by his manager in recent months, and he has punished oppositions thanks to his wonderful technical ability.
In the 191 meetings that have taken place between these two sides, Liverpool have won 83, with Chelsea coming out on top 65 times.
The two contests in the Premier League this season have both ended in score draw’s, with the last League win coming for Chelsea in March 2021 thanks to a Mason Mount goal behind closed doors at Anfield.
What the managers have said
On the final, Thomas Tuchel is expecting yet another tight affair, as he pointed out how good of a side his men will come up against.
He said: “It is a big final; a big competition and we want to be spot on. You have to be spot on in these kinds of matches, which were such close matches lately with decisions, sometimes red cards, sometimes a big mistake.
“We came back at Stamford Bridge; they came back at Anfield with a penalty, and we had to dig in with 10 men. That’s why I think we cannot focus on one single point, but it will be down to margins, and it will be down to details within the match.
“We are facing one of the very best coaches and one of the very best teams in the world right now, this is obvious and proven over the last years and recent weeks, and we are up for the fight.”
On Friday, Jurgen Klopp also spoke of how he wants his side to be the best version of themselves.
The 54-year-old said: “There is a big expectation. A massive game is coming up and we are all really looking forward to it. It will be big. These boys are now really ready to go for the biggest prizes and the FA Cup is a massive prize.
“It is not about the individual quality you might have on the pitch; it is about the spirit and desire you can create on the pitch to fight an opponent for whom it is the game of the season.”
Where to watch
The game will be free to watch on BBC One and BBC iPlayer, with coverage starting at 4:00PM BST and kick-off at 4:45PM BST.