Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard expects Chelsea to be focused on FA Cup final

 

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard does not believe Chelsea will be distracted by thoughts of the Champions League when they walk out at Wembley for Saturday's FA Cup final.

The Stamford Bridge side face Bayern Munich in the Allianz Arena later this month as they bid to win Europe's top club prize for the first time.

In addition they are also looking to secure a top-four place which will gain them re-entry to the competition next season regardless of the result in Germany.

And although their task was made more difficult by last night's defeat at home to top-four rivals Newcastle Gerrard expects Roberto di Matteo's side to be professional at Wembley.

By contrast, the game is eighth-placed Liverpool's last of significance this season.

"I am sure the Chelsea players won't be thinking about the Champions League and top four once that game kicks off at the weekend," said the England midfielder.

"Chelsea are an experienced team full of quality players and it will boil down to the small details on the day, who gets the big decisions and who gets that stroke of luck.

"I don't think there is much between the teams and I think it is a 50-50 game at the weekend.

"But I suppose it helps us because that we can't do much in the league and have not got anything else going on so we can solely focus on this game."

Liverpool were expected to at least challenge for a top-four place themselves but have fallen well short.

But having won the Carling Cup in February - their first trophy for six years - another piece of silverware would provide adequate compensation and a platform for next season.

"Winning big trophies breeds a lot of confidence and belief," added Gerrard.

"We are all aware we have under-achieved in the league and the squad of players we have are certainly better than where we are.

"We will assess the season at the end but if we can win two trophies that will help us bring some success next season.

"I think people will judge us after Saturday. People will say 'You didn't do well in the league' but we will say 'We won two cups' and I think that is a fair argument."

PA

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