Chelsea v Liverpool FA Cup Final : Is it just another routine game these days? Our expert decides
FA Cup Final: Wembley Stadium
Chelsea v Liverpool - Saturday 4:45pm
"We've won it all," is the famous refrain from Chelsea fans in recent seasons. For one long-term Chelsea correspondent, it's a case of: "I've seen it all."
Paul Lagan, also known as @CFCJourno to his Twitter followers and founder of this esteemed website, has been covering the Blues long before websites existed. Or social media. Our Matthew Harding stands.
He has been there through the less glamorous days and gives us context for Saturday's FA Cup Final. Has it lost its sheen? How big a deal is this one in the grand scheme of things? Are fans as bothered as they once were?
We get his lowdown, along with the views of fellow Capital Football writers Charlie Stong and Yann Tear below.
So here we go again Paul. Another day, another cup final for the Blues. Is there any chance of Chelsea fans feeling a bit blasé about occasions like this these days? Is it still thrilling?
Well, I think it’s the same for Liverpool too, they think of Wembley as their second home.
Who knows, if the redevelopment of Stamford Bridge goes ahead, it’s possible that Wembley might be Chelsea’s new home for a couple of years.
But the Blues are certainly no strangers to the national stadium. All the fans know how to get there, they could do it in their sleep.
There will be no gasps of excitement, as the Arch comes into view while heading to Wembley stadium on the Tube.
Chelsea feelings aside, is there a chance the event will again feel not quite what it once was because of that strange kick-off time and given it arrives when there are still nearly two rounds of Premier League fixtures to go?
Not having the FA Cup final as the last game of the domestic season is unfortunate for the traditionalists, The later kick-off time will be a pain for the Liverpool fans, but most of them live down South anyhow, so not too much inconvenience.
Fans are now hard-wired to think of games happening virtually any day of the week now at any time, so no great issue.
No team loses three FA Cup finals in a row do they. Do you think the failure in the two pandemic-years finals will add extra motivation?
Nope. Doubt if the players will give it a second thought to be honest. If Chelsea lose, at least Liverpool fans won’t be able to claim the west Londoners have no history - mind you losing three FA Cup finals in a row is not the history Blues fans want, do they?
It’s probably fair to say that Liverpool – along with Spurs – are the team the Chelsea fans most want to beat these days. That League Cup final defeat to the Reds earlier this year must have hurt?
Come on, it was 11-10 on penalties after extra time.
Anything could have happened. Sure no top medal to show for it, but them are the breaks. Chelsea fans have won enough in the past couple of decades not to feel too cut up about that loss.
Who are the likely match winners for the Blues on Saturday? Will Romelu Lukaku feature do you think? Who do you most fear in the Liverpool ranks? Who among their players do you wish Chelsea had in the ranks on Saturday?
Anyone bar Mendy, unless it goes to another penalty shoot-out.
Chelsea have no in-form strikers so, to win it, the goal will probably come from an unlikely source.
Dave would be popular but frankly anyone will suffice. Lukaku will start. Thomas Tuchel will try to get as close to the starting 11 as the one that drew 1-1 at Anfield earlier in the season.
Fear is not a word that you need to associate with playing Liverpool - determination and a sense of nastiness are what’s required.
Chelsea did have Salah in their side once, you know. Like Kevin De Bryune, it was a case of right player at the wrong time. It happens.
It’s been the weirdest year for Chelsea even by their bizarre standards – I'm talking about the Abramovich sanctions and new ownership issues. Has it affected the form and would this famous piece of silverware compensate for falling short in the Champions League and title race?
Look, Roman Abramovich coming in has given the club the money and resources it needs to play at the top table of world club football.
The sanctions have affected the staff on a day to day basis, but the players as always have been fairly immune to it all.
The notion that the sanctions and the club’s ability to negotiate with players to stay - like Toni Rudiger is nonsense. When Real Madrid come sniffing like they did in January (pre-sanctions) you don’t turn them down. Ditto with Andreas Christensen.
Rudiger’s form has been of the highest quality all season - it’s not affected his form, so why should it affect the rest of the players?
Tactics, injuries etc have contributed to Chelsea current position - a deserved third in the league and a deep run in the cups.
The only compensation the FA Cup would make if they won it would be if the ten of millions of quid bonuses was paid to the players.
That’s what they have missed out on for not retaining the Champions League.
Go on lad, hit us with your prediction so you can tell us all: “I told you so.”
I don’t do ‘I told you so, but Chelsea to win on penalties after extra time - Mendy to smash home the decisive spot kick.
* CHARLIE STONG'S VIEW
Liverpool are the better team at the moment. They’re in the Champions League final and still have motivation for the quadruple, despite the blip against Spurs which could cost them dear in the title race.
But you can’t write Chelsea off. Games between these two lately have been so tight even a cigarette paper would struggle to separate them. You only have to look back to the league cup final for proof of that.
I’ll go for Liverpool after extra time - if that’s even a thing any more?
* YANN TEAR'S VIEW
I have a feeling that although Liverpool are stronger, the end of season stresses may just be starting to catch up with them.
The relentless pursuit of Man City for the title may just be wearing them down and Jurgen Klopp looked frazzled after the tired draw with Spurs which has left their league hopes dangling by a thread.
The other aspect bending me towards a Chelsea win is the feeling that they couldn't possibly lose this showpiece three years running. It should be tight but I think the Blues may just edge it to avenge the League Cup final defeat.