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Football London

Paul Merson and Joe Cole agree on brave FA Cup final verdict for Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea

Paul Merson and Joe Cole have backed Chelsea to come out victorious in the FA Cup final on Saturday afternoon, but Mark Lawrenson still believes Liverpool will lift the trophy.

Liverpool and Chelsea are set to go head-to-head to lift the prestigious cup, just as they did back in February for the Carabao Cup. Jurgen Klopp’s Reds came out on top earlier in the season after a dramatic penalty shootout, but Thomas Tuchel will be hoping for a different result on Saturday afternoon.

Liverpool remains in contention for a historic quadruple, whereas Chelsea are looking to lift their third honour of the season after already winning the UEFA Super Cup and the Club World Cup. A selection of pundits have had their say on how Saturday afternoon’s FA Cup final will turn out.

READ MORE: FA Cup Final Chelsea vs Liverpool: How to watch, TV channel, live stream info, early team news

Paul Merson, Sportskeeda (Chelsea 2-1 Liverpool)

Ex-Arsenal midfield Paul Merson has backed Chelsea to get the better of Liverpool this time around, touching on the absence of Fabinho as a key factor. The midfielder has been ruled out of the clash through injury, with his return pencilled for the Champions League final against Real Madrid later this month.

Merson said to Sportskeeda: "120 minutes of football wasn't enough to separate the two sides in the Carabao Cup final in February and I just get the feeling that this one could be a heads or tails football match as well.

"Injuries to Fabinho and Mateo Kovacic will obviously come as massive blows to their respective teams and Liverpool usually lack discipline when the Brazilian doesn't play, as he knits everything together.

"When I first thought about this game, I was inkling towards a draw, but I fancy Chelsea to win it 2-1 as Fabinho's absence swings the game in the Blues' favour. The Carabao Cup final ended 0-0, but the number of chances created on the night was absolutely mindblowing."

Joe Cole, JOE (Chelsea 1-0 Liverpool)

Former Liverpool and Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole has also backed Thomas Tuchel's team to lift their third trophy of the season, however, he did admit that Liverpool are difficult to beat at this moment in time.

He told JOE: “I fancy Chelsea to win 1-0. Admittedly that’s my heart rather than my head because Liverpool look impenetrable at the moment.

"You see the way they’re playing, they’re such a great team. But I think Thomas Tuchel might have something up his sleeve for this game so I’m going for Chelsea."

Mark Lawrenson, BBC Sport (Chelsea 0-2 Liverpool)

Former Liverpool player Mark Lawrenson has backed his former club to beat Chelsea once again, this time avoiding a penalty shootout with a 2-0 win. He highlighted the Reds' expected front three of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Luis Diaz as a deciding factor.

Lawrenson told BBC Sport: "Usually with cup finals, I expect them to be really tight with extra time and maybe even penalties - like we saw when these two teams met at Wembley in the Carabao Cup final in February. This time, though, I think Liverpool will win it pretty comfortably, and in normal time too, just because Chelsea are not at their best right now.

"So, Liverpool are favourites for me. They will be without the injured Fabinho, which is a blow, but Jordan Henderson will just come in there. Up front they can go with Salah, Mane and Diaz. That's a forward line to win a cup final, because I don't see Chelsea keeping them out.”