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Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta has admitted that revenge is on his mind ahead of his side’s FA Cup final with Liverpool. Thomas Tuchel’s side were defeated by the Reds in the League Cup final on penalties earlier this season.
After taking Liverpool all the way to penalties in February, Azpilicueta watched from the sidelines following his substitution as Jurgen Klopp’s team won 11-10 in the shootout when goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga missed the decisive spot kick.
However Azpilicueta and Chelsea will look to use their pain as motivation for today’s final. Azpilicueta told talkSPORT: “When you lose you want to get back and have the chance to win. It’s true that it is the same opposition Liverpool again, when you arrive in the final there are two teams and you want to be on the winning side.
“You want to win it, it doesn’t matter who you play, you want to get your hands on the trophy.
“It’s true that in the League Cup final we were close, we were on penalties and lost it. Now we have the chance to win it so we will make the most of it.”
Azpilicueta will be hoping that his side are at full strength as they look to stop Liverpool from winning the quadruple. However, Chelsea face a late call on midfielders Mateo Kovacic and N’Golo Kante as the pair will be assessed up to kick-off in their bid to make the final. On Friday Tuchel spoke about Kovacic’s chances: “We are hoping that maybe the time is enough that he makes it, but we will try it in training and then we will know more about it.”
Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ben Chilwell have been ruled out of the final, as Kante and Kovacic are Tuchel’s only other fitness worries. Liverpool could be without influential midfielder Fabinho, with Jurgen Klopp only revealing that the midfielder would be ready for their Champions League final.
Romelu Lukaku will be pushing for a start after improving his recent form, scoring three goals in Chelsea’s last two games against Wolves and Leeds United. Arrizabalaga will have plenty of motivation to defeat Liverpool this time around, following his penalty miss in the League Cup, but may be faced with a place on the bench again.
He began the League Cup final on the bench and was brought on for the shootout only. Edouard Mendy kept clean sheets in both the quarter-final and semi-final wins in the FA Cup.
Tuchel’s side come into the final off the back of a comfortable 3-0 win away to Leeds. He said: “We arrive [to the FA Cup final] with a clear mindset because we did what we needed to do this week. Good news.”
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