Chelsea gets second crack at Man United

SUN WIRE SERVICES

, Last Updated: 10:13 AM ET

The FA Cup final returns to Wembley today and gives Chelsea a second chance this season to deny Manchester United a trophy.

The Blues want to make this one count after losing their Premier League title to United.

Chelsea finished six points behind the Red Devils in the league and lost to Liverpool in the Champions League semi-finals. Its consolation success in the League Cup represented a poor return on owner Roman Abramovich's pre-season investment in striker Andriy Shevchenko and midfielder Michael Ballack.

Chelsea won the last FA Cup final at the old Wembley stadium in 2000 and a victory in the first at the rebuilt arena would go a long way to securing coach Jose Mourinho's job for next season and restoring some much-needed optimism to the west London club.

"I wouldn't say it is revenge because it is just a one-off game," Chelsea winger Arjen Robben said. "But it is going to be a big game with a great atmosphere and that's why we have to show the whole world how good our game can be."

And today's match certainly is big.

A sellout 90,000-person crowd will fill the rebuilt 800-million pound (C$1.72 billion) Wembley to watch only the third final between the teams finishing 1-2 in the top flight of the English league.

"Games like (today's) are the kind that you work so hard for in training every day," Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic said. "Matches against big teams and big players on the biggest stage. It'll be great to be involved in a game that will go down in history."

CANADA CALLING

In a worst case scenario, Toronto FC could lose as many five players to the Canadian national team at next month's Gold Cup including starting goalkeeper Greg Sutton and captain-defender Jim Brennan.

Canada's 30-man preliminary roster for the CONCACAF championship also includes Toronto defenders Adam Braz, Marco Reda and Chris Pozniak.

The Canadian final 23-man roster does not have to be submitted until Tuesday.

REINA GIVEN OK

Liverpool 'keeper Jose Reina has recovered from a shoulder injury and is fit to play in Wednesday's Champions League final against AC Milan.

Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez said yesterday Reina -- and backup Jerzy Dudek, who had a groin injury -- would be in the squad.


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