‘Both teams look tired’ – Paul Merson gives surprise  FA Cup final prediction

Paul Merson has decided to go against popular demand and is backing Chelsea to beat Liverpool in the final of the FA Cup.

Liverpool are the favourites heading into the tie, but the two teams haven’t been separated in regular time on three occasions this season.

Merson has claimed both sides look leggy going into the backend of the season, and he believes Chelsea might just snatch the victory.

“In recent weeks, both teams have looked a bit tired and open at the back. Liverpool have beaten both Villarreal in the UEFA ChampionsLeague and Aston Villa in the Premier League in the last 10 days or so, but they were carved open at the back a handful of times and were slow to react to danger,” Merson told Sportskeeda.

“As for Chelsea, they let a two-goal lead slip against Wolves and looked out of sorts at the back in the second half, which is a clear indication that tiredness is beginning to creep in.

“Injuries to Fabinho and Mateo Kovacic will obviously come as massive blows to their respective teams, but if reports are to be believed, the Chelsea midfielder could be available for the FA Cup final if he makes a swift recovery. Fabinho, however, has officially been ruled out and Liverpool usually lack discipline when he doesn’t play, as he knits everything together.

“Thomas Tuchel’s biggest worry, in my opinion, is the fact that he’s still not figured out his preferred front three – it’s a madness! We’re in May and with a few days to go until the cup final, they still don’t know who is going to play.

“I believe Kai Havertz and Mason Mount will start for sure, but who joins them in attack? Timo Werner can cause a lot of problems with his pace and directness, while Romelu Lukaku has been back amongst the goals in recent weeks and looks a different player now. With the likes of Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech also in the mix, Tuchel does have a lot of options, but which one of them will get the nod?

“When I first thought about this game, I was inkling towards a draw, but I fancy Chelsea to win it 2-1 as Fabinho’s absence swings the game in the Blues’ favor. The Carabao Cup final ended 0-0, but the amount of chances created on the night was absolutely mindblowing.

“Finally, if the game does go to penalties, I really hope Chelsea don’t bring Kepa Arrizabalaga on! We saw what happened last time out and I think they’ll be better of with EdouardMendy, who has been a top-class addition to the side since his move from Rennes in 2020.”

About the Author

Chelsea is more than just a football club to me; it's a passion I share, and my affinity with the Chelsea badge is one that will last forever. As far as watching my favourite team is concerned, I'd rather miss a meal than miss a Chelsea game.

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