Previewing the FA Cup final

May, 5, 2012

Wembley Stadium will come alive on Saturday in the 131st FA Cup final, as Liverpool and Chelsea look to succeed in cup competition after a season of poor league performances. Liverpool is vying for its second domestic cup of the season (after its Carling Cup win in February), and Chelsea is playing its first of two cup finals this month, with the Champions League final set for May 19.

• The last FA Cup meeting between these clubs was in the 2006 semifinals. Liverpool defeated Chelsea 2-1 and went on to hoist the trophy, beating West Ham 3-1 in penalties. These two have met nine times in the competition, but never in the final. If Chelsea wins, the London side would tie Liverpool and Aston Villa at fourth on the list of FA Cup titles with seven.

• Chelsea's defense boasts 17 individual FA Cup titles, including goalkeeper Petr Cech, who has won three in net for the Blues. Liverpool's entire roster has six, matching Chelsea left back Ashley Cole's individual total, which is the most of any one player in the illustrious history of the competition. Cole has won three with Arsenal (2002, 2003 and 2005) and three with Chelsea (2007, 2009 and 2010). Captain John Terry has won four, all with Chelsea (2000, 2007, 2009 and 2010).

Didier Drogba has scored a goal in every domestic cup final he has played for Chelsea, which includes three FA Cup finals and two League Cup finals. The Ivorian striker has netted every time he has taken the field at Wembley Stadium, and Chelsea has won all four of those games.

• Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish and Chelsea interim manager Roberto Di Matteo have won the FA Cup as a player for the teams they now coach. Dalglish, who won in 1986, will be aiming for his third as a manager Saturday, while Di Matteo could join him as one of 16 people to win the competition both as a player and a manager. The former Italian international won the FA Cup in 1997 and 2000 with Chelsea.

• Liverpool has already defeated Chelsea twice this season, winning 2-1 at Stamford Bridge and 2-0 at home less than two weeks later in the League Cup. However, since Di Matteo took the helm on March 4, Chelsea has gone 11-2-4 across all competitions, outscoring opponents 37-16 and beating Barcelona to reach the Champions League final. In the previous 16 games, Chelsea went 5-4-7 and dropped from third to fifth place in the Premier League during that period.



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