Joe Cole has made his prediction for the FA Cup final as two of his former clubs Chelsea and Liverpool meet at Wembley.
Liverpool, bidding to win an unprecedented quadruple, will aim to secure their second trophy of the season when they meet Champions League holders Chelsea in the 141st FA Cup final on Saturday.
Jurgen Klopp’s side beat the Blues in the EFL Cup final in February and could yet win the Premier League and Champions League in the final few weeks of the campaign.
But Liverpool will be coming up against eight-time FA Cup winners Chelsea, who are appearing in the final for the third successive season.
The Blues finished runners-up to Arsenal in 2020 and Leicester City in 2021 but have won three major trophies under Thomas Tuchel, including the Champions League last season.
Chelsea have also won the FA Cup five times since Liverpool last lifted the FA Cup in 2006 and former England midfielder Cole expects the Blues to come out on top this weekend.
‘I fancy Chelsea to win 1-0,’ Cole told JOE. ‘Admittedly that’s my heart rather than my head because Liverpool look impenetrable at the moment.
‘You see the way they’re playing, they’re such a great team. But I think Thomas Tuchel might have something up his sleeve for this game so I’m going for Chelsea.’
Goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga missed the decisive penalty in Chelsea’s heartbreaking defeat to Liverpool in February’s EFL Cup final.
The Spaniard started the match on the bench but was brought on as the prospect of penalties drew closer, before failing to save 11 straight spot-kicks and blazing his own effort over the bar.
Despite the setback, Tuchel has refused to rule out repeating the tactic if the FA Cup final goes to penalties.
Asked if he had made any plans in the event of a repeat at Wembley, Tuchel said: ‘I will not tell you. I have an opinion about it. If it comes, you will see.
‘In approaching the match, we always say: “Let’s see how the game goes and if we still have the change available.”
‘It is never done before. We have a plan of what we can do. I’m a bit torn in how much you can practise.’
Liverpool boss Klopp, meanwhile, insists he wants to give the club’s fans another reason to celebrate just a few weeks after he signed a new contract at Anfield.
‘It’s a busy season, but it will never happen that the FA Cup is just a normal game,’ he said. ‘It’s a special game and, for some, the biggest in their career.
‘We want to enjoy it and deliver for our people. We couldn’t celebrate the Carabao Cup because we played three days later. If we win FA Cup it’s the same.
‘We had a parade with Dortmund when we won the cup. It was big. Now we play Southampton instead of a possible parade.
‘I’ve never won the FA Cup before and most of my players have never won it before. We are really looking forward to this opportunity.
‘The boys worked their socks off to arrive here, with all the different challenges over the year.
‘It’s now a massive final for us and I’m really happy we are part of it. We always gave our all to arrive to the final [previously], we just didn’t make it.’