Paul Merson is expecting Chelsea to edge a close contest when the Blues play Liverpool in the FA Cup final this evening.
The Sky Sports pundit says he was tempted to predict a draw (with the prospect of another penalty shootout between the two teams) but a key absentee in Liverpool’s starting lineup means he is now backing Thomas Tuchel’s side to clinch victory:
“When I first thought about this game, I was inkling towards a draw, but I fancy Chelsea to win it 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.”
Merson has gone with a 2-1 win to Chelsea, which seems like a fair prediction, considering what we know about the two teams, and how close the Blues were to beating Liverpool in their last meeting at Wembley for the Carabao Cup final.
Whether Fabinho’s absence will be as important as Merson claims, we shall have to wait and see but, with both sides so evenly matched, you could argue that even minor personnel changes could have an impact on the result.
From Chelsea’s perspective, it is important for them to get back to their very best defensively. There have been some dodgy displays at the back in recent weeks, but if they can cut out the mistakes, the Blues will give themselves a strong platform to win tonight.