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FA Cup Final Preview: Chelsea v. Portsmouth

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The 129th Cup Final.

The 10th appearance in the elder competition for Chelsea. Is a fifth Cup - fourth this decade - about to be raised by one Brave John Terry?

The what: FA Cup Final – Chelsea v. Portsmouth
The where: Wembley Stadium (86,000)
The when: May 15, 3pm local time (10am EST)
The how: Fox Soccer Channel (Dish 149, DirecTV 619)
The referee: Chris Foy


Portsmouth —
Team: Who really knows?
Doubtful: Boateng (ankle), O'Hara (back), Dindane (groin), Wilson (hamstring), Yebda (thigh) Sowah (knee)
Injured: Tommy Smith (nose), Hermann Hreidarsson (Achilles), Danny Webber (knee)
Suspended: None
Leading scorer (FA Cup): Piquionne 3, Boateng 2, Utaka 2

Could there be a more likable opponent? Play up Pompey.

Projected XI

Team: Cech, Hilario, Turnbull, A Cole, Kalou, Alex, Drogba, Terry, Malouda, Lampard, Deco, Anelka, Zhirkov, J Cole, Belletti, Ballack, Kakuta, Sturridge, Ferreira, Bruma, Ivanovic
Doubtful: None
Injured: Mikel (knee), Essien (knee), Borini (groin), Carvalho (ankle), Bosingwa (knee)
Suspended: None
Leading scorer: Sturridge 4, Lampard 3, Malouda 2, Drogba 2

Look, I worked some 11 hours today - and now I'm blogging. I'm a machine. Applaud me. No, don't. This is a mail-in (I'll make it up to you).

If Chelsea proper show up, a win should be nothing more than a formality. Anything less and Pompey - a side to be envied in terms of passion and commitment more than not this term - will be within a shout of the game's greatest upset in recent memory.

Projected XI
Paulo-BJT-Alex-A. Cole

Paths to Wembley ---

3rd Rd: Chelsea 5 Watford 0
4th Rd: Preston 0 Chelsea 2
5th Rd: Chelsea 4 Cardiff 1
6th Rd: Chelsea 2 Stoke 0
Semifinal: Aston Villa 0 Chelsea 3
3rd Rd: Portsmouth 1 Coventry 1
3rd Rd replay: Coventry 1 Portsmouth 2 (aet)
4th Rd: Portsmouth 2 Sunderland 1
5th Rd: Southampton 1 Portsmouth 4
6th Rd: Portsmouth 2 Birmingham 0
Semifinal: Portsmouth 2 Tottenham 0

The stat: Via the Telegraph ... "Portsmouth have failed to beat Chelsea in their last 27 meetings, in all competitions. Since Portsmouth beat Chelsea 1-0 in a League Cup tie, in December 1960, the teams have met 27 times with the London club winning 21 games and the remaining six finishing in draws."

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