Kuyt eyes cup final hat-trick against old foes Chelsea
LONDON (Reuters) -- With an impressive knack of scoring important goals in big games, Liverpool marksman Dirk Kuyt has trained his sights on his own cup final hat-trick when his team take on Chelsea at Wembley on Saturday.
The Dutch international, who has a gilded goal-scoring record that includes a hat-trick against Manchester United and several Merseyside derby winners, has played in a Champions League and League Cup final for Liverpool and scored in both.
The 31-year-old now wants to make it three in three when Liverpool look to crown an inconsistent league campaign with their second successive cup final victory after winning the League Cup in February.
"I like all the goals I've scored, but to score in finals is something really special," Kuyt said on the club website (www.liverpoolfc.tv).
"I've played in two finals for Liverpool and scored in both, so hopefully I'll score my best goal ever on Saturday.
"I think it would be my favourite. As a kid I always watched the FA Cup. It's special in England but it's also special all over the world. It's one of the most important cups in the world you can win."
Kuyt's last appearance at Wembley was as a substitute in the League Cup final against Cardiff City when he scored what looked to be the decisive goal in extra time before a late equaliser sent the game to penalties.
Kuyt scored in the shootout as Liverpool went on to lift the cup, a bright spot in what has been an otherwise difficult campaign.
Liverpool are eighth in the league after winning only five home games, which has increased the pressure on manager Kenny Dalglish who began the season in high spirits after carrying out a major squad overhaul.
Kuyt believes a second successive Wembley final win would
provide the stuttering Merseysiders with a foundation on which
they could build for next season.
"It'd be a great achievement personally, but also for the
club; it would give us an enormous boost to keep us going
forward and be contenders," he added.
Liverpool's tussles against Chelsea used to be a familiar part of the season's climax with the Reds facing Saturday's adversaries in three Champions League semi-finals and one quarter-final since 2005.
Liverpool have not had the chance to pit themselves against the best in Europe since 2009 while Chelsea have just reached their second Champions League final where they will face Bayern Munich on May 19.
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, however, feels they can beat anyone on their day.
"I've got faith in our squad," he said. "We have been fantastic in the cups this season and we need to continue that.
"We've proved we can compete with the top sides this season. Now we have to overcome another one to win the trophy."