Chelsea and Everton set for final

FA Cup Final
Venue: Wembley Stadium Date: Saturday, 30 May Kick-off: 1500 BST
Coverage: Live on ITV1, Setanta Sports. Full commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC London 94.9 FM, DAB & online and BBC Radio Merseyside 95.8 FM, 1485 MW and DAB and online; Text commentary on BBC Sport website & mobiles


Frank Lampard
Lampard could be a key figure if Chelsea are to secure a fifth FA Cup

Frank Lampard has given Chelsea a boost by declaring himself fit for Saturday’s FA Cup final against Everton.

The England midfielder sat out last week’s win over Sunderland with a knock but will start at Wembley, with Alex and Juliano Belletti (virus) also fit.

Everton have also received good news on the injury front, with Phil Neville and Steven Pienaar fully fit following recent worries over hamstring problems.

That should enable David Moyes to deploy his favoured 4-5-1 formation.

The 128th FA Cup final, the 75th to be held at Wembley, pits two of England’s form sides against each other.

Hiddink aims to end tenure with silverware

Chelsea have suffered only one defeat in 21 games under manager Guus Hiddink, while three wins and a draw in their last four games helped the Toffees secure a top-six finish for the fourth season in five.

It is Hiddink’s side who start as favourites, though, with the Londoners desperate to mark the Dutchman’s final match in charge with a trophy before he resumes as manager of national side Russia in the summer.

Chelsea reached the final courtesy of a semi-final defeat of Arsenal at the same ground, while Everton beat champions Manchester United on penalties.

PHIL McNULTY BLOG

And the Toffees will be keen to upset the odds again on Saturday and secure what would be a sixth FA Cup trophy.

Their hopes of doing so may rest heavily on the shoulders of midfielder Tim Cahill, who has once again proven himself a key figure for Everton this season and who has been labelled the club’s “new Alan Ball” by chairman Bill Kenwright.

“The first game David (Moyes) and me went to see a player, Tim Cahill was just mesmeric,” said Kenwright.

“I recall him coming into my office once to just tell me how much he wanted to play for Everton. That was a great thrill for me.

“He is the prince of footballers, he is the new Alan Ball.

‘Best Everton side’ deserve win – Moyes

“He has the true spirit of Everton, the one who epitomises the never-say-die attitude of the whole squad.”

Chelsea full-back Ashley Cole, meanwhile, could become the first player for more than 100 years to win five FA Cup winners medals, having won the trophy three times with Arsenal and again with Chelsea in 2007.

“It would be a great milestone if I could get it,” said the left-back. “I would be honoured to have the record. It’s a great trophy to win and I would be delighted to win it five times.”


Chelsea (from): Cech, Hilario, Bosingwa, Alex, Terry, Ivanovic, Carvalho, A Cole, Lampard, Obi, Ballack, Essien, Kalou, Malouda, Drogba, Anelka, Stoch, Di Santo, Deco, Mancienne.

Everton (from): Howard, Hibbert, Yobo, Lescott, Baines, Osman, Neville, Cahill, Pienaar, Rodwell, Saha, Fellaini, Nash, Castillo, Vaughan, Jacobsen, Gosling, Baxter.

BIG-MATCH FACTS

Chelsea and Everton clash in the 128th FA Cup final, and the fifth ‘north versus south’ showpiece in six years. It is the 75th FA Cup final to be staged at Wembley Stadium and the third since its redevelopment into the largest all-covered football stadium in the world.

These clubs have won the cup nine times between them, but have never met in the final. Both are chasing their first major piece of silverware since last lifting the trophy; Chelsea, for the fourth time in 2007 and Everton for the fifth occasion in 1995.

Both managers are pursuing their first major trophy with their current clubs. David Moyes has never experienced victory over Chelsea in any competition as Everton manager; Guus Hiddick has a final opportunity to win something with Chelsea in three and a half months in temporary charge.

In each of the last four seasons, the club knocking out Middlesbrough has gone on to finish runners-up in the competition. Everton ousted the Teessiders in the quarter-finals.

It is 16 years since both teams competing in an FA Cup final at Wembley have both scored.

This year’s final is being held later in the year than ever before. The previous latest (excluding replays) was 25 May 1963 when Manchester United beat Leicester City 3-1.

This is an “all-blue” final, but Chelsea will be wearing all yellow for this match, while Everton will be sporting blue shirts, white shorts and white socks.

The winners will receive £2m from the E.On sponsored prize fund; the runners-up £1m.


The League ladder

Chelsea finished the Premier League season in third place, with 25 wins and 83 points; Everton were fifth, with 17 wins and 63 points.


Referee

Howard Webb (South Yorkshire)

The 37-year-old from Rotherham, says being in charge of this match is the culmination of a lifelong dream. Webb was the fourth official at the first final back at Wembley two years ago, and controlled last season’s semi-final between West Brom and Portsmouth, also at Wembley.

In 42 league and cup games this season, Webb has brandished 133 yellow cards and five red. The total of 138 works out at an average of 3.29 cards per game.

Assistants: Michael Mullarkey and David Richardson
Fourth official: Martin Atkinson

CHELSEA

Current form

Won their last three matches – all in the Premier League – with an aggregate of 9-3.

Undefeated in 13; won nine and drawn four since losing 1-0, away to Tottenham in the top-flight on 21 March – their only loss in 23 league and cup matches.

FA Cup history

This is their ninth appearance in the final; won in 1970, 1997, 2000 and 2007, and runners-up in 1915, 1967, 1994 and 2002.

They are bidding to become the fifth club to win the cup at least five times.

Kept 122 clean sheets in 351 matches in the history of the competition.

This season’s FA Cup run

Avoided Premier League opposition, until overcoming Arsenal 2-1 in the semi-final.

League One Southend was the only team to take them to a replay, after drawing 1-1 at Stamford Bridge in the third round.

Scored more goals in this season’s competition proper than any other club (15).

Their aggregate on this run so far is 15-5, and their top scorer is Nicolas Anelka with four, including a hat-trick against Watford in the fifth round. Anelka is the competition’s joint top scorer, with Robin van Persie of Arsenal.

The Manager

Guus Hiddink won Holland’s equivalent of the FA Cup, the KNVB Cup, four times as coach of PSV Eindhoven. Those successes in 1988, 1989, 1990 and 2005 came in two spells at the Dutch club.

Hiddink is Chelsea’s third manager since they last won the FA Cup two years ago.

FA Cup facts

Played in the last final at the old Wembley, and the first at the new Wembley.

Gianluca Vialli’s side beat Aston Villa 1-0 in 2000. Roberto Di Matteo’s winner was the last FA Cup goal to be scored before the twin towers were dismantled.

Didier Drogba’s 116th minute goal proved sufficient two years ago against Manchester United. His was therefore the first FA Cup goal to be scored under the Wembley arch.

When Chelsea first lifted the trophy by beating Leeds 2-1 in a replay at Old Trafford in 1970, the TV audience was 28.49m. It is thought that only the Apollo 13 moon landing attracted higher viewing figures in that decade.

EVERTON

Current form

Ended the Premier League season with three wins and a draw in their last four matches.

An odd goal in three defeat to Manchester City at Goodison Park on 25 April is their only loss in nine league and cup outings.

Not lost on the road since 21 March; 2-1, against Portsmouth.

FA Cup history

This is their 13th appearance in the final; won in 1906, 1933, 1966, 1984 and 1995, and runners-up in 1893, 1897, 1907, 1968, 1985, 1986 and 1989.

Defeat would see them setting a new unwanted record by becoming the first club to lose eight FA Cup finals.

Scored 711 goals in their 394 matches in the history of the competition; only Aston Villa (802 goals), Manchester United (738), Tottenham (732) and Blackburn (722) have scored more.

This season’s FA Cup run

Had a tough route to this end-of-season showpiece. After winning 0-1 at League Two Macclesfield, the Toffees had to hold Merseyside rivals Liverpool at Anfield, before dismissing the Reds, Aston Villa and Middlesbrough – all at Goodison.

They then brought an end to Manchester United’s dreams of the quintuple. After a goalless 120 minutes in the semi-finals, Everton prevailed 4-2 in the penalty shoot-out. Keeper Tim Howard pulled off two great saves, before Phil Jagielka converted the decisive spot-kick to gain a place in their first final in 14 years.

The Manager

David Moyes has experienced winning and losing in a Wembley final. He was a member of the victorious Bristol City side that defeated Bolton in the final of the Freight Rover Trophy in 1986. A year later Moyes again played for Bristol City in the final of the same competition. They drew 1-1 with Mansfield after extra time, and then lost 5-4 on penalties.

Since being appointed in March 2002, the 46 year Glasgow-born boss has selected a Toffees’ side 20 times to face Chelsea. Seven of those matches were drawn, and 13 lost. Of those, two were in the FA Cup, in the fourth round in 2006. It was the only time an FA Cup tie between these two clubs needed a replay.

Moyes’ only experience of a final as a manager was in the 2001 Division One play-off final in which his club Preston North End lost 3-0 to Bolton Wanderers, at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.

FA Cup fact

Joe Royle was at the helm when Everton last won the Cup 14 years ago, and Paul Rideout famously scored the only goal, against Manchester United.

Everton’s 1-0 defeat to West Bromwich Albion in 1968 was the first FA Cup final to be televised in colour.

HEAD to HEAD

All competitions

Everton have not beaten Chelsea in the last 22 of their 156 meetings.

Chelsea have won 14 and drawn eight in the Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup since Everton’s 2-1 home league victory on 25 November 2000. Only once in those 22 games have Everton scored more than one goal in a game; the 2-3 home league defeat on 17 December 2006.

This season’s two Premier League meetings were both goalless draws.

FA Cup

Chelsea have won five and lost two of the seven previous times that the clubs have been paired together in the competition.

Their first meeting was in the semi-finals in 1915; Chelsea won 2-0 at Villa Park and went on to lose to Sheffield United in the final.

Everton have not knocked out the Londoners since a 1-0 fifth round victory in 1956, when Peter Farrell scored the winner. Their only previous victory, in 1938, was also by a 0-1 margin.

Their most recent meeting in the competition was in the fourth round in 2006, when Chelsea prevailed 4-1 in a replay at Stamford Bridge; their largest winning margin against Everton in the competition. Jose Mourinho’s side lost to Liverpool in the semi-finals that season.

KEY PLAYER NOTES

CHELSEA

If selected:-

Ashley COLE will be appearing in his sixth FA Cup final having played for Arsenal in 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2005 and for Chelsea in 2007. Only Arthur Kinnaird, Roy Keane and Ryan Giggs have played in more than six FA Cup finals.

COLE will be aiming for a fifth FA Cup final winners’ medal, a total not achieved since the 1890s.

Didier DROGBA has played in four domestic finals in England and scored in all four. He scored the winning goal in the 2005 League Cup final and both goals in Chelsea’s 2007 League Cup final victory. He also netted the winner in the 2007 FA Cup final and Chelsea’s goal when they lost to Tottenham Hotspur in the 2008 League Cup final.

This will be DROGBA’S fourth match at the new Wembley Stadium and he has scored in the previous three, the aforementioned 2007 FA Cup final and 2008 League Cup final and the winning goal in this year’s FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal.

Nicolas ANELKA will play in his second FA Cup final, 11 years after his first, a 2-0 win for Arsenal over Newcastle United in 1998 in which he scored the second goal becoming the third youngest goal scorer in an FA Cup final (19 years 63 days old).

If ANELKA scores here, he will be only the fourth player to net FA Cup final goals for two different clubs.


EVERTON

If selected:-

Goalkeeper Tim HOWARD will be the first American to play in two FA Cup finals, as he was in goal for Manchester United in 2004. John Harkes (1993) is the only other American FA Cup finalist.

Phil NEVILLE played in three FA Cup finals (1996, 1999, 2004) as a Manchester United player and won all three. Victory against Chelsea will put him in a select group of 11 players who have won the competition four times including his former teammates Roy Keane and Ryan Giggs.

Marouane FELLANI will be only the second Belgian to play in an FA Cup final and the first for 22 years since Tottenham Hotspur’s Nico Claesen in 1987.

Tim CAHILL played in the Millwall team which lost the 2004 FA Cup final against Manchester United. Shortly afterwards, Cahill signed for his current club.

Louis SAHA has missed four previous FA Cup finals for various reasons. In 1999, he was not selected by Newcastle United. As a Manchester United player, he missed the 2005 and 2007 finals because of injury and was cup-tied in 2004 having played earlier in the competition for Fulham.

Big Match Facts were compiled by Peter Robinson, with additional information supplied by Infostrada Sports

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