Timo Werner relishes FA Cup final underdog tag as he insists Liverpool ‘always have problems’ against Chelsea
Thomas Tuchel’s side go into the Wembley showdown as underdogs, with the Merseysiders still in pursuit of an unprecedented quadruple.
Liverpool beat Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final, are pushing Manchester City all the way in the title race and face Real Madrid in this month’s Champions League final.
But Werner is convinced Chelsea can cause an upset, just as they did when crowned European champions at the expense of City in Porto last May.
“The FA Cup final is a bit similar to the Champions League final last year,” said the German. “In the two years I’ve been here, we’ve always had good games against Liverpool. We’ve never lost in 90 minutes. They always have problems with us, so maybe the underdog role suits us.”
Chelsea suffered heartbreak in losing a penalty shoot-out in the League Cup, so victory on Saturday would be sweet and also the chance for Tuchel to end the season with added gloss, after lifting the European Super Cup and Club World Cup.
After failing to mount a serious title challenge, Werner admits it is vital to end the season on a high.
“It is one of the biggest cups in Europe,” he told Standard Sport. “We want to win it. Okay, in the League, it was not possible to follow the others, and in the Champions League we had one bad game that put us out.
“We lost the last two years in the FA Cup Final — that is also a big point why we want to win. When you are three years in a row in the Final and lose it three times, that would not be the best record that you can put into the history of the FA Cup.”
A win for Chelsea would not only end their rivals’ hopes of a clean sweep, but also serve notice of their intent to break the dominance Jurgen Klopp and City boss Pep Guardiola have on English football.
That was the target this season until injuries and Covid had such a debilitating effect on their challenge.
“The aim has to be [to get] closer to those teams,” said Werner. “We have a good manager, a good team and maybe [need] more consistency to go in the Premier League.”
Meanwhile, Mateo Kovacic is hopeful of playing in the match. Tuchel claimed it would take a miracle for the midfielder to play after suffering an ankle injury against Leeds on Wednesday.
But Chelsea’s medics were encouraged by the results of scans yesterday. Kovacic was due to train today and, barring any setbacks, Tuchel expects him to be in contention.