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FA Cup final tactics: Chelsea have formula to beat Liverpool – but Thiago is key

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Alex Keble previews the tactical battle between Liverpool and Chelsea at Wembley, where Thiago will be pivotal to the Reds’ hopes of a first FA Cup win since 2006… There is an emerging sense that the FA Cup is getting its magic back.

Saturday’s final – given the reverence of its own day again, with the Premier League pushed to Sunday – is between two of the top three teams in the country for the first time in 15 years, having been taken seriously by pretty much everyone.

Better still, the outcome at Wembley feels important for both Liverpool and Chelsea.

Ian King: The FA Cup final remains a direct line back to the origins of the game Chelsea will be happy to sit a little deeper than usual and will rarely press, in the hope of drawing Liverpool forward before breaking in behind Klopp’s high defensive line.

That is no longer the case with Thiago surgically playing balls through to the front three.

Thiago Alcantara – the ludicrously-good midfielder who had won every game in which he started for Liverpool this season prior to that 1-1 draw with Tottenham – is fit to face Chelsea for the very first time.

Liverpool are heavy favourites primarily because Chelsea have become saggy during their off-field issues, and with little to play for in the Premier League Thomas Tuchel has seen his defence weaken significantly.
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