Fatigue to hit Chelsea as FA Cup can save Liverpool’s season

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This year’s FA Cup final will be contested by two teams widely regarded to have experienced below-par campaigns.

Kenny Dalglish and his Liverpool side have typecast themselves as a cup team this season, with their league form apparently suffering as a side-effect, as the Scot’s side battle to acquire nine points from their remaining five games to avoid their lowest Premier League points total of 54.

The Reds are priced at 11/10 to claim their second trophy of the season, in a bid by Dalglish to paper over the cracks of a disappointing season on Merseyside.

The Carling Cup winners have won their last four against the London club and with Chelsea having to contend with a gruelling amount of fixtures between now and the end of the season, they will fancy their chances to triumph over the Pensioners.

Chelsea, under the stewardship of interim boss Roberto Di Matteo are priced at 4/6 to be victorious at Wembley and claim their third FA Cup in four years.

The Blues looked in turmoil when the former midfielder was projected into the hot seat after the departure of the young Portuguese boss Andre Villas-Boas. Since Di Matteo’s appointment Chelsea have found some real form, losing only once in his 12 games in charge.

The ex-Italian international has brought squad members who seemed to be in the cold back into the limelight, with the likes of Florent Malouda, Salomon Kalou and Jon Obi Mikel seeing much more game time since his appointment.

This may be a negative move from Di Matteo but if he can lead Chelsea to FA Cup glory, as he did as a player in 1997, his claim to the top job on a more permanent basis will be severely strengthened.

They are also priced at a massive 4/1 to be victorious in the home leg of their upcoming Champions League tie against Barcelona, and success there will see their odds of 10/1 to win this year’s trophy sufficiently shorten.

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