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The sparkle may be fading but the Cup can still deliver

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Massive, massive, massive.

You’ll always have the traditionalists reminiscing fondly about the eight-hour build-up on the BBC and the dodgy cup final songs and even dodgier cup final suits but this year more than ever, the diminution of the FA Cup’s status is laid bare.

Liverpool and Chelsea meet in an FA Cup final on Saturday evening that seems slightly out of place, sandwiched between midweek and Sunday Premier League fixtures.

A 1-1 draw and a 2-2 draw in the league was followed by a 0-0 in the League Cup final with Liverpool coming out on top in a mammoth penalty shoot-out in which Caoimhín Kelleher scored what turned out the be winner spot-kick.

The once season-ending showpiece final feels a bit more of a sideshow to the all-conquering Premier League narrative, with the league title, European places and relegation matters taking up most of the headlines and headspace in the build-up to the game.

That was Liverpool’s last appearance in the cup final and for Jurgen Klopp, it’s been far too long.

"It is the time now to take calculated risk, with it being the cup final."
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