Chelsea and Liverpool lock horns in the 2012 F.A Cup final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday May 5.
It’s a tight betting heat for the showpiece occasion which will kick off in front of the live TV cameras at 5.15pm.
The Blues go into the contest as narrow favourites but will be considered excellent value at 6/4 to win the match in ninety minutes based on their current form.
After knocking Barcelona out of the Champions League courtesy of what was arguably one of the greatest performances ever by an English side in Europe, Chelsea then proceeded to crush QPR 6-1 at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League – a result which was spearheaded by a wonderful Fernando Torres hat-trick.
The Spanish ace appears to be regaining his confidence and returning to the kind of sharp goal scoring touch which influenced Roman Abramovich to splash out £50 million to secure his services from the Reds last year.
And Torres will be hell bent on producing another prolific display against his old club on the biggest domestic cup stage of all.
Before his recent turnaround in fortune, Torres has spent the best part of 18 months struggling to justify his lofty fee – and the same can also be said for Andy Carroll who was signed as his replacement at Anfield from Newcastle United in a £35 million deal.
That purchase made Carroll the eighth most expensive player in football history – a tag which the Geordie has so far failed to realise rather miserably.
Nevertheless, it was Carroll’s late winner in the last four which put Liverpool into the final at the expense of Merseyside rivals Everton, a strike which has already put him into the club’s folklore despite his overall poor performance since joining last January.
Liverpool are 21/10 to upset Chelsea and lift the cup in regulation time and punters would surely have wanted a slightly bigger price as Kenny Dalglish’s men have been woeful for the majority of the campaign.
Nonetheless, league form may as well go out of the window when it comes to a cup final and Liverpool will certainly be competitive, boosted by their massive support and the fact that they have already earned silverware this season via the Carling Cup.
Chelsea were most impressive when crushing Tottenham Hotspur 5-1 in the semi-finals and a repeat of that showing could be more than enough to triumph.
But Liverpool are unlikely to afford as much space and time on the ball as what Spurs did and a war of attrition may well ensue especially early on.
Liverpool will need a big performance from Steven Gerrard and his battle with opposite number Frank Lampard in the middle of the midfield will be fascinating to say the least.
Chelsea definitely catch the eye at the odds but the draw also makes appeal at 21/10 and could quite conceivably be the outcome as a tight, scrappy affair would not be surprising in the least.
© Frixo 2013