The Big Match Preview: Chelsea vs. Portsmouth
The final piece of major silverware of the domestic season will be claimed this weekend.
The two sides competing for the FA Cup trophy couldn't be more different. Chelsea, rolling in money, and Portsmouth, struggling to get enough money together for a cup of tea.
Chelsea have recently been crowned as league champions. Portsmouth have just been relegated from the Premier League following a 9 point deduction for going into administration.
Chelsea's road to the final was relatively comfortable with victories over Championship sides Watford, Preston North End and Cardiff City before conquering Premier League sides Stoke City and semi-final opponents Aston Villa.
Portsmouth went to a replay against Coventry City in the third round before overcoming Sunderland, fierce local rivals Southampton and Birmingham City before causing a major upset when they defeated Tottenham Hotspurs 2-0 in their semi-final.
The two games between the sides in the league this season won't make pleasant reading for Portsmouth fans. Portsmouth performed admirably at Stamford Bridge despite eventually going down 2-1 in December but sadly capitulated in the return fixture at Fratton Park in March, losing 0-5.
Recent history also won't be much comfort. Chelsea have won 16 of the last 17 games between the sides. In fact, Portsmouth's last victory against Chelsea came in 1991 in a 3rd round FA cup replay.
The Avram Grant factor should not be ignored. Grant is a former Chelsea manager who took the club to the Champions League final in 2008. If Chelsea's experience with Inter Milan taught them anything this season, its to be wary of their former managers with a point to prove.
The form book would suggest this should be a Chelsea win but Portsmouth's semi-final victory over Tottenham surely shows nothing can be taken for granted in this game.
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