Paul Merson gives one big reason why he predicts Liverpool will lose FA Cup final to Chelsea

Liverpool take on Chelsea in the FA Cup final at Wembley today.

Paul Merson believes the absence of Fabinho is why Liverpool will lose the FA Cup final against Chelsea.

The Premier League heavyweights go head-to-head in the showpiece clash at Wembley today (16.30).

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It’s a repeat of the Carabao Cup final, which the Reds won on penalties after a goalless draw in February.

However, Merson is backing Chelsea to get revenge and curtail Jurgen Klopp’s side’s aspirations of an unprecedented quadruple.

Key midfielder Fabinho is a confirmed absentee for Liverpool.

And Merson reckons the void the Brazilian leaves will see Thomas Tuchel’s side prevail 2-1.

The ex-Arsenal playmaker told Sportskeeda: “Injuries to Fabinho and Mateo Kovacic will obviously come as massive blows to their respective teams, but if reports are to be believed, the Chelsea midfielder could be available for the FA Cup final if he makes a swift recovery.

“Fabinho, however, has officially been ruled out and Liverpool usually lack discipline when he doesn’t play, as he knits everything together.

“Thomas Tuchel’s biggest worry, in my opinion, is the fact that he’s still not figured out his preferred front three - it’s a madness! We’re in May and with a few days to go until the cup final, they still don’t know who is going to play. I believe Kai Havertz and Mason Mount will start for sure, but who joins them in attack?

“Timo Werner can cause a lot of problems with his pace and directness, while Romelu Lukaku has been back amongst the goals in recent weeks and looks a different player now. With the likes of Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech also in the mix, Tuchel does have a lot of options, but which one of them will get the nod?

“Marcus Alonso has produced some big moments for Chelsea over the years, but he is a player Liverpool could target. If I’m being honest, he has no interest in defending, but he plays his own little game and can hurt Jurgen Klopp’s side while going forward, so he’ll be one to watch out for.

“When I first thought about this game, I was inkling towards a draw, but I fancy Chelsea to win it 2-1 as Fabinho’s absence swings the game in the Blues’ favor. The Carabao Cup final ended 0-0, but the amount of chances created on the night was absolutely mindblowing.

“Finally, if the game does go to penalties, I really hope Chelsea don’t bring Kepa Arrizabalaga on! We saw what happened last time out and I think they’ll be better of with Edouard Mendy, who has been a top-class addition to the side since his move from Rennes in 2020.”