Get ready for the mother of all David Vs Goliath battles!
Chelsea skipper John Terry has declared himself fit for Saturday’s FA Cup final with Portsmouth after scans confirmed he had not fractured his right foot.
Branislav Ivanovic is a doubt with knee trouble so Paulo Ferreira stands by, while John Obi Mikel has undergone minor surgery on a knee injury.
Portsmouth’s Jamie O’Hara (stress fracture) is a doubt.
Aruna Dindane (groin), Kevin-Prince Boateng (ankle) and Marc Wilson (hamstring) are also concerns.
Chelsea (from): Cech, Hilario, Turnbull, A Cole, Kalou, Alex, Drogba, Terry, Malouda, Lampard, Deco, Anelka, Zhirkov, J Cole, Belletti, Ballack, Kakuta, Sturridge, Ferreira, Bruma, Ivanovic.
Portsmouth (from): James, Finnan, Rocha, Mokoena, Ben-Haim, Mullins, Belhadj, Hughes, Boateng, Wilson, Yebda, Utaka, Piquionne, Diop, Dindane, Ashdown, Kanu, Smith, Basinas, Sowah, Vanden Borre, O’Hara.
Portsmouth defender Hayden Mullins, who missed out through injury when West Ham played Liverpool in the 2006 final at Cardiff, is hoping to have more luck this time and said: “There’s no pressure on us. The pressure’s on Chelsea.
“The longer we keep them quiet, the more the pressure mounts.
“We turned up against Spurs and everyone was just saying ‘enjoy the day’. We know it’s going to be a really tough test but we can still get a result. We’ve got to go for it.”
Chelsea, though, are overwhelming favourites to lift the famous trophy for the second season in succession, with bookmakers offering miserly odds of 1-6.
The Double, first achieved by Preston North End in 1889, has only been won on 10 occasions, most recently by Arsenal in 2002.
The Wembley playing surface has been the subject of widespread criticism but Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has nothing but good memories, having scored five times at the national stadium.
“That pitch brings me a lot of luck,” said the 32-year-old Ivorian.
“It is something we really want to achieve, it won’t be easy because Portsmouth have been focused and it will be a happy ending for them after their season, but this next week is so important for us.
“I want to finish the job with the FA Cup final. To win the double means a lot for the club.” (BBC Sport)
This is real David Vs Goliath stuff, in fact in many ways its an even more uneven contest than the biblical one. Chelsea, cash rich and Premier League champions versus a relegated Portsmouth side who are lumbered with incalculable levels of debt that rise on a daily basis.
Add into the mix Avram Grant taking on his former club and the fact that almost everyone outside west London will be rooting for the underdogs and you have a very interesting FA Cup Final. Given the manner in which Chelsea have stylishly reclaimed the Premier League title one would imagine it would take a brave man to bet on the south coast club but then “That’s what the FA Cup is all about, isn’t it John?”
FA Cup Final Preview
Here are some highlights of past meetings between the two teams to whet your appetite.
Portsmouth 0-5 Chelsea March 2010
CLICK HERE to see these highlights
Chelsea 2-1 Portsmouth December 2009