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Grudge match marks FA Cup's return to Wembley
by Paul Kennedy, May 18th, 2007 7AM

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The English FA Cup returns to Wembley -- the new Wembley Stadium built at a cost of $1.49 billion -- on Saturday when Manchester United and Chelsea meet in a grudge match.

U.S. TV:
Setanta pay-per-view, live, Saturday, 9:55 am ET
Fox Soccer Channel, delay, Tuesday, 8 pm ET


The game comes almost two weeks after United ended Chelsea's two year-reign as English league champion, clinching the Premier League title.

A crowd of 90,000 will pack Wembley for the dream final.

Welshman Ryan Giggs will captain United on Saturday in his quest for his fifth FA Cup medal, which would be a record for a player since the 1800s. Manager Sir Alex Ferguson is looking for his fourth league-cup double in his 20-year tenure at United.

After a rash of injuries slowed it down late in the season, United should be close to full strength for the final. The notable absence will be captain Gary Neville, who is sidelined with an ankle injury.

Chelsea, which only weeks ago was bidding for fourth trophies, will have to be content with an FA Cup-League Cup double in case of a victory on Saturday.

Injuries plagued the Blues all season in their bid for a third straight league title. Goalie Petr Cech, defender John Terry and midfielder Joe Cole are available after missing part of the season with injuries, but key offseason signings -- Germany midfielder Michael Ballack and Ukraine striker Andriy Shevchenko -- will miss the final, as will Portugal defender Ricardo Carvalho.

Probable lineups:
Man. United -- van der Sar, O'Shea, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Cristiano Ronaldo, Carrick, Scholes, Giggs, Smith, Rooney
Chelsea -- Cech, Paulo Ferreira, Essien,Terry, A.Cole, Makelele, Lampard, Wright-Phillips, J.Cole, Drogba, Kalou.

THE LAST 25 YEARS
1982 Tottenham-QPR 1-0
(replay after 1-1 tie)
1983 Manchester United-Brighton 4-0
(replay after 2-2 tie)
1984 Everton-Watford 2-0
1985 Manchester United-Everton 1-0
1986 Liverpool-Everton 3-1
1987 Coventry City-Tottenham 3-2
1988 Wimbledon-Liverpool 1-0
1989 Liverpool-Everton 3-2
1990 Manchester United-Crystal Palace 1-0
(replay after 3-3 tie)
1991 Tottenham-Nottingham Forest 2-1
1992 Liverpool-Sunderland 2-0
1993 Arsenal-Sheffield Wednesday 2-1
(replay after 1-1 tie)
1994 Manchester United-Chelsea 4-0
1995 Everton-Manchester United 1-0
1996 Manchester United-Liverpool 1-0
1997 Chelsea-Middlesbrough 2-0
1998 Arsenal-Newcastle 2-0
1999 Manchester United-Newcastle 2-0
2000 Chelsea-Aston Villa 1-0
2001 Liverpool-Arsenal 2-1
2002 Arsenal-Chelsea 2-0
2003 Arsenal-Southampton 1-0
2004 Manchester United-Millwall 3-0
2005 Arsenal-Manchester United 0-0
(Arsenal won 5-4 on penalties)
2006 Liverpool-West Ham 3-3
(Liverpool won 3-1 on penalties)


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