Chelsea Vs. Liverpool, 2012 FA Cup Final: A Makeshift Defense Versus A Makeshift Midfield

Daniel Sturridge of Chelsea is closed down by Luis Suarez of Liverpool during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Chelsea are without two of their best defenders, while Liverpool still haven't found an answer in midfield even though Lucas Leiva has been out for six months.

Chelsea and Liverpool have both been disappointing in the Premier League this season. Liverpool still can't salvage their hopes of Champions League qualification and Chelsea won't get their shot at achieving that goal until May 19, but Saturday's FA Cup final could be a season salvaging game for both teams. Liverpool already have one trophy and Chelsea have a masterful victory over Barcelona behind them, but both teams could seriously use a major trophy to placate their fans who are disappointed with their league performances.

Both teams were caught looking ahead to the game mid-week, playing mediocre lineups and getting burned for doing so. Liverpool looked absolutely clueless for 90 minutes in a 1-0 loss to Fulham, while Chelsea fell victim to two absolutely stunning goals by Papiss Cisse in a 2-0 loss to top-four rivals Newcastle United.

Chelsea are still without their second and third central defenders, Gary Cahill and David Luiz. Captain John Terry will partner regular right back Branislav Ivanovic in the middle, while Jose Bosingwa will start at right back. Liverpool's only fitness issues are in the center of midfield, and the two players missing are the players who started the season as their first choice midfielders. Charlie Adam and Lucas Leiva are still out, leaving two of Jonjo Shelvey, Jordan Henderson and Jay Spearing to fill the void. Steven Gerrard will probably start in the hole behind Luis Suarez, but could potentially play deeper if Kenny Dalglish doesn't have faith in two of those inexperienced midfield players to do the job.

Game Date/Time: Saturday, May 5, 12:15 p.m. ET

Venue: Wembley Stadium, London, England

TV: FOX Soccer Channel (U.S. - English), FOX Deportes (U.S. - Spanish), Sportsnet World (Canada), ITV 1 (U.K.)

For more on the Blues, head over to We Ain't Got No History. For more on the Reds, check out The Offside Liverpool and Anfield Asylum.

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