It's FA Cup final day for two clubs that are struggling to make an impression in a season that has brought more disappointment than joy. Sure, Chelsea have found their way to the Champions League final, but the fact that they're outside the top four in the Premier League means that Roman's boys are desperate for some silverware. Liverpool have already snagged the Carling Cup, but their struggle against Cardiff at Wembley indicates that Saturday's match is not likely to be smooth sailing.
So how, then, will Liverpool manage to pull off a cup double? For one thing, it almost certainly won't involve Jamie Carragher -- or at least, that's what all Reds fans are praying. Instead, the backline will almost certainly feature Glen Johnson, Daniel Agger, Martin Skrtel and Jose Enrique The team will be relying on Luis Suarez to give a weakened Chelsea defence an enormous headache.
The real question is, what happens in midfield? It's there that Liverpool have been at their weakest, having never adequately dealt with the injury to Lucas Leiva. Jay Spearing was horrible against Fulham midweek. Jordan Henderson was removed at halftime -- but Sam at Anfield Asylum thinks that's a positive rather than a negative:
While some took Jordan Henderson's hauling off at halftime as a comment on his performance, I took it as rest for a likely start Saturday. He was the only midfielder to start against both Norwich and Fulham, and it smacked of resting him to me. And Henderson in the middle is better than Henderson out wide. So Gerrard-Henderson-Spearing/Shelvey (who wasn't much better than Spearing on Tuesday) is your middle three.
There you have it, boys and girls. We've got a shaky Chelsea defence and a wobbly Liverpool midfield. That's got to be good for some goals today, right?
We'll have pre-game and live game coverage in our Chelsea vs Liverpool, 2012 FA Cup Story Stream. For more on the two teams, head over to Chelsea blog We Ain't Got No History and Liverpool blogs Anfield Asylum and Liverpool Offside.