Chelsea v Leicester: Talking points ahead of the FA Cup final

Chelsea and Leicester go head to head in the 2020-21 FA Cup final on Saturday.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at some of the talking points ahead of the Wembley showpiece.

Chelsea eye more cup glory

Chelsea v Manchester United – Emirates FA Cup – Final – Wembley Stadium
Chelsea’s last FA Cup triumph came against Manchester United in 2018 (Nick Potts/PA)

Arsenal might lead the way with 14 FA Cup wins, but Chelsea would equal the Gunners’ record of seven 21st-century triumphs by beating Leicester. Chelsea have won the cup five times since 2006-07, with their last victory coming against Manchester United in 2018. A ninth overall success would put them one clear of Tottenham and into third place on their own behind Arsenal and United (12) – not bad for a club who waited until 1970 for a maiden FA Cup win. Chelsea were beaten finalists last season and victory would see them repeat their 2018 success having lost to Arsenal the previous year.

Will it be a Foxes’ first?

Soccer – FA Cup Final – Manchester City v Leicester City – Wembley Stadium
Leicester goalkeeper Peter Shilton (second from left) is beaten by Manchester City’s winning goal in the 1969 FA Cup final (PA)

Leicester have the chance to lose an unwanted piece of cup history. No club have appeared in more FA Cup finals without lifting the trophy than the Foxes, who have been Wembley bridesmaids four times. Leicester’s losing run started in 1949 when Wolves beat them 3-1. The 1960s were a particularly painful decade for the midlands club as Tottenham and Manchester United overcame them 2-0 and 3-1 in 1961 and 1963 respectively. Leicester were also beaten 1-0 by Manchester City in the 1969 final, when a 19-year-old Peter Shilton was in the Foxes’ goal.

No doubting Thomas

Chelsea v Real Madrid – UEFA Champions League – Semi Final – Second Leg – Stamford Bridge
Thomas Tuchel has masterminded a revival in Chelsea’s fortunes since taking charge in January (Adam Davy/PA)

Thomas Tuchel has transformed Chelsea since succeeding Frank Lampard in January and he could end the season with a memorable FA Cup and Champions League double. Tuchel has united a disparate squad and his 3-4-3 formation has sorted out a once-leaky defence while providing plenty of attacking threat and goals at the other end. Lifting the FA Cup could precede even greater glory by beating Manchester City in the Champions League final on May 29. Tuchel was a serial winner at former club Paris St Germain, and there is already talk of an extended contract for the German at Stamford Bridge.

Rodgers’ reputation on the rise

Brendan Rodgers file photo
Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers spent four years at Chelsea earlier in his career (Adam Davy/PA)

Brendan Rodgers’ stock has continued to rise at Leicester after the Northern Irishman piled up the trophies at Celtic. Having just missed out on a top-four spot last season, the Foxes are well placed to make the Champions League this time around. Attractive football and wise recruitment have marked Rodgers’ reign and winning the FA Cup would enhance the 48-year-old’s reputation yet further. Rodgers spent four years at Stamford Bridge from 2004-08 as head youth coach and reserve-team boss before embarking on his managerial career, so Chelsea know all about the danger coming their way.

Time for a Vardy party?

Leicester City v West Bromwich Albion – Premier League – King Power Stadium
Former England striker Jamie Vardy has been short of goals for Leicester in recent months (Rui Vieira/PA)

Leicester talisman Jamie Vardy has had a curious season as the Foxes have contended for Champions League qualification as well as silverware. Vardy was on fire in the first half of the campaign with 13 goals before Christmas. But it has been a different story since, scoring only twice in 24 games, with the former England forward outshone by strike partner Kelechi Iheanacho. But Vardy is a man for the big occasion, so do not be surprised if the 34-year-old produces a Wembley performance to remember.