Tottenham V Chelsea at Wembley Stadium : Match Preview
Adebayor keen to banish Wembley blues.
Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor is determined to exact revenge on Chelsea for ruining his only Wembley appearance three years ago. Adebayor will lead the line for Spurs at Wembley on Sunday as the north London club look to move one step closer to lifting their first FA Cup in 21 years by beating Chelsea in their semi-final. Having spent five years on the books of Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham it is surprising that Adebayor has not yet won a single competition in England - the only piece of silverware he has to his name is a winner's medal from the 2011 Copa del Rey triumph with Real Madrid. For a striker who has been a part of the fibre of English football for so long, it is also surprising that Adebayor has only made one appearance at Wembley so far in his career - Arsenal's 2-1 defeat in the 2009 FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea. The loss, which came in Adebayor's final season at Arsenal, still rankles with the 28-year-old and he hopes to put that right.
"My only appearance at Wembley so far was that 2-1 loss so my memories are not good," Adebayor said. "But this is a new game and we want to win. Football is all about winning medals and they are the moments in life that you can look back on with pride. "I want to win the FA Cup so I can show my medal to my kids and say `look what daddy won!' "I didn't win anything with Arsenal, I didn't win anything with Manchester City, so I want to win the FA Cup with Tottenham. To do that would be special, a dream for me. "Tottenham haven't won a trophy since 2008 and so it would be great to win silverware again. "We are two wins away from achieving that." Having seen Chelsea win 11 trophies since 1991 compared to Tottenham's two, Harry Redknapp is determined that his men can step up and lose their 'nearly-men' tag this season. Their form going in to tomorrow's clash could hardly be worse, however. Spurs have won just one of their last eight Barclays Premier League games and Redknapp also has an injury crisis to contend with having lost Younes Kaboul and Niko Kranjcar this week. But Tottenham just edged a 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge last month and lead the Blues in the table by two points, making Adebayor confident of victory. "It will be a tough game against Chelsea," he said. "We know them well as a team but I believe we can beat them. They are not vulnerable, but certainly beatable and if we believe in ourselves, we can win." Ledley King is a doubt with his chronic knee problem, leaving Ryan Nelsen and William Gallas as the only fit senior centre-halves. Midfielder Scott Parker is a doubt with a hamstring injury.
Roberto Di Matteo is more interested in his Chelsea players making their own history than maintaining his remarkable record at Wembley and against Tottenham. Caretaker manager Di Matteo will send his side out on Sunday knowing he won every time he visited the national stadium as a player and scored in each of his cup finals there. The 41-year-old has also never been on the losing side against Spurs either as a player or coach, something he is at a loss to explain. "I don't know why," he said. "But, at the end of the day, you need to get on the pitch and write the history of that game. "It's a new chapter. You look at the stats and it's nice, but that's in the past. "We have to look to the present and the future and try to change that." He added: "It's not about me. It's about this group of players, Chelsea Football Club. "This group of boys have won the FA Cup many times themselves. "They like playing at Wembley, and have done so many times with their club and the national team. It's a special place to play." No club has enjoyed more success at the new Wembley than Chelsea, whose only loss there came in the 2008 Carling Cup final. They have won all five of their FA Cup games there and Di Matteo admitted the trophy meant a lot to the club. "Yes, it does, and we have a good history in it," he said. "It's a domestic trophy, and a tradition-rich trophy, well-known all over the world, the FA Cup. "It's prestigious to be able to win it." John Terry (cracked ribs) and Ashley Cole (ankle) have been passed fit but fellow defender Branislav Ivanovic begins a three-match ban after being found guilty of violent conduct.
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