Tag Archives: Portsmouth

Pompey Eye Cup Amid Relegation

By Mark Duckworth of The National Game

This Saturday will see the traditional end to the English League football season, when Chelsea take on Portsmouth in the FA Cup final. It will be the 129th final of the oldest domestic football cup which held its first final back in 1872 at the Kennington oval.

A lot has changed since 1872, but the excitement and tradition still haven’t gone away, and when Portsmouth and Chelsea walk out under the Wembley arch, the football world will be waiting with expectation.

Unfortunately for the FA Cup, it’s the unmet expectation that has damaged the famous competition over the years, especially with the last few finals, which have been of a poorer standard than some of its earlier rounds, and the increasingly popular Champions’ League.

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Battle for North London

Manuel Almunia returns to Arsenals goal just in time for the North London derby against Tottenham. (Courtesy Tim Snell Flickr)

Manuel Almunia returns to Arsenals goal just in time for the North London derby against Tottenham. (Courtesy Tim Snell Flickr)

By Kevin Koczwara

Arsenal and Tottenham will face-off Saturday at the Emirates Stadium to lay claim to as who is the best club in North London right now. It is a match-up that looks to be a barn burner because the two teams have high octane attacks and sub-par defenses. The game also has implications to set apart the two teams and give themselves room in the top four (Champions League qualification) on the Premier League table.

Both Arsenal and Tootenham have 19 points coming into this weekends match-up and are only set apart by goal differential — Arsenal at a +16, Tottenham at a +9– and Arsenal’s one game in hand. And both need this win to keep pace with table setters Chelsea (who play a Bolton side  they beat 4-0 in a mid-week Carling Cup match), and to avoid being bumped down by a confident Liverpool side who beat Manchester United last week and is playing a stingy Fulham side that looks tired from all the extra competition that the UEFA Cup has brought. And Manchester City and Aston Villa should surely wrap-up at least 1 point this weekend in their competitions keeping them in the hunt for a top four finish and jumping over the loser in North London.

This game is more than just a derby this weekend, it is a match that will make one of these teams a serious contender for Premier League silverware come May.

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