It’s fair to say it’s been a funny old season for Liverpool, with wildly inconsistent league form coupled with impressive results in both domestic cup competitions that have seen us lift the League Cup and reach the final of the FA Cup. Our third trip to Wembley of the season pits us against Chelsea in the 131st FA Cup final (5.15pm kick off UK time).
This will be our 14th final in the world’s oldest domestic cup competition while Chelsea will be appearing in their 11th final. Interestingly, this is Chelsea’s fourth FA Cup final in seven seasons.
The Reds have kept two clean sheets – against Newcastle Utd (1974) and Sunderland (1992) – in the previous 13 finals and of the 20 goals we’ve scored in those 13 finals, just two of them came in the first half; John Aldridge (4mins) v Everton in 1989 and Djibril Cisse (32mins) v West Ham Utd in 2006.
So what’s at stake aside from the glory of lifting a major trophy? The winners of the competition will earn £1.8m in prize money, while the runners up will receive £900k. So far both clubs have earned around £1.597m in prize money alone by reaching the final. Also awarded to the winners is a place in next season’s Europa League which Liverpool have already achieved from lifting the League Cup while Chelsea could yet qualify for next season’s Champions League from either winning the competition outright by beating Bayern Munich in the final or by finishing in 4th place in the Premier League.
(Note: the FA Cup winners enter the Europa League at the Group Stage, while the League Cup winners enter at the 3rd qualifying round so if Liverpool lift the FA Cup they will enter the EL at the Group Stage as the FA Cup takes precedence over the League Cup)
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