Belfast Telegraph

Alan Green: FA Cup final now just another game

And, again, it’s the Football Association leaving the final of its most famous competition hung out to dry: preceded by a Premier League match that will distract from the build-up, kicking off at a time that suits only television and followed, on Sunday, by games that could decide the league title, games that will grab the headlines on Monday.

Chelsea against Liverpool SHOULD have stood alone next weekend, as all FA Cup finals should but are probably destined never to again.

My first commentary on the final was in 1986 when Liverpool played Everton. Nothing else interfered in the week leading up to the game, the climax of the season.

So, not unreasonably in the circumstances, supporters of the Manchester clubs, Arsenal, Spurs and Newcastle, focused on league issues, probably couldn’t care less who wins at Wembley. How times change for the worse.

My tip? Well Chelsea are the form team, favourites to win for the fourth time in six seasons, but Liverpool, however absurdly inconsistent in the league, haven’t lost a cup game this season and they have Luis Suarez, scorer of one of the best hat-tricks I’ve ever seen. It’s too close to call.

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