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Tuesday, July 5, 2022

‘Torres is finally getting back to his best’ – Liverpool & Chelsea fans look ahead to Wembley FA Cup final

Liverpool and Chelsea lock horns on Saturday evening in the FA Cup final, with Kenny Dalglish’s men looking to secure their second domestic trophy of the season following their League Cuptriumph in February.

The Blues are also chasing a double of their own, with Roberto Di Matteo’s men contending the Champions League final against Bayern Munich later this month after they overcame Barcelona in the semi-finals of the competition.

Ahead of the clash, Goal.com invited Liverpool fan James Boardman of the Anfield Wrap and his Chelsea counterpart David Chidgey from Chelsea Football Fancast, to get involved in our Twitter Q&A …

What are the key battles for Saturday’s Wembley showdown?

David Chidgey: With [Gary] Cahill and [David] Luiz probably unavailable – [Jose] Bosingwa is usually a liability at right-back, and [Luis] Suarez and/or [Craig] Bellamy’s pace will be a threat. I hope [Didier] Drogba starts, and [Frank] Lampard for that matter too – they are big players, and our big players have been turning up for the big games recently.

James Boardman: I think we’re scratching our heads as to what kind of team Chelsea will put out for this one, but players like Lampard are probably the most dangerous because of how many points they’re going to be setting out to prove. Lots of scores to settle.

Is Fernando Torres finding form, or is his recent upturn just another false dawn?

David Chidgey: Surely if you’re talking white elephants you are referring to Andy Carroll? All the conjecture about Torres is bonkers. He is playing in a side who have never really played to his strengths (apart from against QPR last week and look what happened then), and also Drogba is probably a bigger elephant in the room. I think Torres’ attitude has been second to none, and I love the fact that he has added commitment to his game and he is prepared to fight for the cause.

James Boardman: Torres was looking more like his old self than I’ve seen him in some time at the weekend – worryingly for us, I don’t think that was a one-off either. He’s enjoying himself again by the looks of it and that’s perhaps, above fitness and tactics, the biggest problem he has had since the last World Cup. At times at Chelsea he’s looked like the outsider, a misfit, now he looks like part of the team. Presumably Di Matteo is responsible for that.

Do you think both Roberto Di Matteo and Kenny Dalglish should remain in their jobs past the summer?

James Boardman: In my view, yes to both. For us, Kenny needs more time – and better management of expectations from upstairs, we can’t expect to jump into the top four if we’re not keeping pace financially with the others. For Chelsea, they’ve got a guy there who knows how to get the best out of the players at his disposal – whoever it is that puts them there at his disposal!

David Chidgey: Most Chelsea supporters would love it if Di Matteo got the job – he’s shown fantastic man-management skills after the Andre Villas-Boas disaster, and good tactical nous as shown by the games against Barcelona. As for King Kenny – I have to admire their support of him considering his results have been as poor as Roy Hodgson’s – he’s bought some duff players, but I think the root of their current problems probably have more to do with [former owners Tom] Hicks & [George] Gillett and Rafa’s mistakes. But I understand why they love him as he was a Liverpool legend both as a player and a manager.

Which player would you most like to take from each other’s side?

David Chidgey: Can’t stand him as a man, but Suarez is a quality striker (I have my fingers crossed behind my back!).

James Boardman: Juan Mata is a top player of the type we need to be able to attract if we want to move forward. Mata to LFC became a running joke last summer because of the amount of times we were linked with him.

What do you think of Chelsea’s plans to build a new stadium on the site of Battersea Power Station?

David Chidgey: I don’t think that Chelsea are buying Battersea to build a new stadium, they’re building it as a retirement home for Drogba – The ‘Battersea Drogs Home’. In all seriousness, I am predominantly against a move from Stamford Bridge, and don’t think we would fill a 60,000 stadium.

James Boardman: We’ve been through the arguments for and against LFC moving from the current stadium for 10 years or more now and if it ever does happen I’m sure we’ll all accept it, especially if – as planned – the area of the existing pitch remains an open space. It’s the need to get a new stadium that saw us sold to Hicks and Gillett and the mess that followed. Right now we’re in limbo – the club can’t afford to build a new one and redeveloping is full of issues that make it too expensive.


David Chidgey: 2-1, Drogba gets the first goal and Torres gets the winner. Why? Because I said so!

James Boardman: Somehow I’ve a feeling we’ll win it with a goal in the 89th minute, Suarez the scorer. Final score 2-1 to us!

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