Mark Lawrenson believes Liverpool will easily win the FA Cup final against Chelsea later today.
Writing for the BBC, Lawrenson predicted a relatively routine victory at Wembley for his former side.
The previous three meetings between the two rivals have been anything but straightforward.
Chelsea managed to secure a draw on Merseyside earlier in the season, despite playing the whole second half with ten men following Reece James’ red card.
Thomas Tuchel’s team then managed to slash Liverpool’s 2-0 lead at Stamford Bridge to 2-2, inspired by a wonder strike from Mateo Kovacic.
Tuchel and Jurgen Klopp’s third clash of the campaign came outside of the Premier League’s walls in the Carabao Cup final amphitheatre.
After 120 minutes of relentless football, the tie went to a penalty shoot-out.
All 22 players stepped up to take a kick, but only one missed.
That unfortunate title fell upon Kepa Arrizabalaga, who skied his shot high into the crowd, having replaced Edouard Mendy for his expertise from 12-yards.
But how will the fourth and final encounter finish?
Lawrenson reckons Liverpool will win the FA Cup easily
“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,” said Lawrenson.
“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.
“I know Chelsea beat Leeds easily enough on Wednesday but I didn’t see that as them returning to form. It was because Leeds had a player sent off.”
Chelsea certainly teed themselves up nicely for the FA Cup showpiece event with a 3-0 victory over Leeds.
They were helped out, as Lawrenson annoyingly mentioned, by having a man advantage because of Daniel James’ reckless challenge on Kovacic.
However, Tuchel’s group played some decent football even when it was 11 versus 11.
Mason Mount in particular picked apart Leeds from start to finish, kicking off the romp with a well-taken goal from outside the area.
Christian Pulisic and Romelu Lukaku added to the triumph, both executing their efforts extremely efficiently.
24 hours earlier, Liverpool narrowly scraped past Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa with a performance below their usually high standards.
Klopp lost Fabinho to injury that evening, a major blow for the Reds that’s only made slightly less damaging by the fact Chelsea could be without Kovacic and N’Golo Kante.
Both are in a race against time to be fit for the final, with Tuchel remaining optimistic about the pair’s availability.
Let’s keep up that positivity throughout the cup showdown!
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