Chelsea vs Liverpool: 3 talking points ahead of the Blues' fifth-round clash against the Reds | FA Cup 2019-20
- Chelsea and Liverpool will go head-to-head in the FA Cup tonight.
Premier League giants Chelsea and Liverpool are set to lock horns in the fifth round of the FA Cup at Stamford Bridge tonight. Although both sides have been actively participating in the competition in the last few years, this game marks their first meeting since the 2012 final, during which the Blues won 2-1.
Both teams are coming into the tie on the back of disappointing results at the weekend, especially the Reds, whose hopes of emulating Arsenal's 'Invincibles' campaign ended in stunning fashion.
There's a lot at stake for both sides in this encounter. While this is the only competition that Chelsea can consider themselves to be alive in, the mighty Reds are aiming to add the FA Cup and Champions League trophies alongside the eventual Premier League title to complete a treble.
Ahead of the crucial clash, let's delve into the three talking points ahead of the pulsating encounter:
#1 Liverpool aim to bounce back on track
Following an unexpected defeat at the hands of Watford last weekend, Liverpool will aim to bounce back on track at the FA Cup. The result might have been only their first defeat in the Premier League but it has certainly punctured the aura of invincibility which the team carried with such swagger.
The Merseyside giants now have to restart their exploits with a win against their London opponents but a victory might be far from straightforward at Stamford Bridge. Jurgen Klopp is likely to rotate his side, which means many of the youngsters who ousted Shrewsbury Town in the previous round would feature once again.
Chelsea are not in great form themselves but are certainly a much different kettle of fish and could prove to be a tough nut to crack for Liverpool's young guns.
#2 Caballero or Arrizabalaga- Chelsea's goalkeeping conundrum
If the weekend's 2-2 draw to Bournemouth is anything to go by, Frank Lampard might be tempted to continue with Willy Caballero between the sticks. He put in a monumental performance at the Vitality Stadium recently, making several important saves that kept the visitors alive in the contest.
However, given Kepa Arrizabalaga's dire situation, Lampard may even opt to offer him an olive branch and start him in goal instead. The Spaniard, who is the most expensive goalkeeper in the world, hasn't started a game since Chelsea's 2-2 draw to Arsenal last month owing to a poor run of form.
#3 Chelsea's only hopes of silverware hinges on this
With their Premier League hopes long lost and their Champions League ambitions as good as gone, the FA Cup remains Lampard's only realistic shot at winning silverware after what has been an erratic start to his managerial job at Chelsea.
The Blues, therefore, have an added incentive in this game and history is on their side too as they have lost only four games out of 10 against Liverpool in the FA Cup.
Published 03 Mar 2020, 12:20 IST