Craig Bellamy
copyright: REUTERS

BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson believes Chelsea's hectic season run-in could play into Liverpool's hands when the two sides meet in the FA Cup Final on Saturday.

The meeting at Wembley will be the 31st time the two sides have played each other in the past eight seasons and while both sides suffered mid-week losses - Liverpool to Fulham and Chelsea against Newcastle - Lawrenson remains adamant the Reds hold the advantage going into Saturday's tea-time clash.

"I think Chelsea may be setting themselves up for a fall at Wembley," Lawrenson told the Liverpool Daily Post. "It's not deliberate. But the way things have gone lately suggests the pressure and weight of expectation is all on the Londoners this weekend.

"After knocking out Barcelona from the Champions League, many people are saying that Roberto di Matteo is a genius. But I can assure you, just when you think the job is cracked is when you get a whack across the chops.

"I don't think Liverpool have the same pressure going into the game."

Chelsea face Bayern Munich in the Allianz Arena later this month as they look to win Europe's premier club competition for the first time. In addition, they are also chasing a top-four finish in the Premier League while the game represents the last significant competition for eight-placed Liverpool.

"Arguably the best thing that could have happened is for Chelsea to have reached the Champions League final and have everyone raving about them," said Lawrenson.

"It is, for me, the best time to play them.

"In their last few games, Chelsea haven't been favourites and have gone into the game looking to stop the opposition from playing.

"Now the boot is on the other foot and I think Chelsea will find that difficult to cope with, to make that switch."

The former Liverpool defender, who won the 1986 FA Cup during his time at the club, has lauded the recent performances of Luis Suarez and maintains the Uruguayan could hold the key against Chelsea's brittle back-line on Saturday.

And having won the Carling Cup in February - their first trophy for six years - Lawrenson believes a second piece of silverware for Kenny Dalglish's side will provide an ideal platform for next season.

"The Fulham defeat underlined that Liverpool's Anfield form has not been good enough. But I don't think the remedy is drastic surgery," added Lawrenson.

"Everyone knows the problem; they need someone to come in to play alongside Luis Suarez. They may need to cut losses on some players they bought last summer and do some trading, but it's not major surgery that's needed.

"It would be good if Craig Bellamy was involved to bring some pace and competitiveness to midfield, but I wouldn't be surprised if Dalglish threw a curveball in somewhere.

"Suarez, though, is red hot at the moment and he could be the man that wins it for Liverpool. He's back to his world-class best and Chelsea will be wary of him.

"The final, though, could go all the way to penalties. It won't be a feast of open attacking football; it'll be a war of attrition. I have a sneaky suspicion the ball could roll for Liverpool at Wembley."