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Page last updated at 11:27 GMT, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 12:27 UK

Gunter's FA Cup team guide

Wales and Spurs defender Chris Gunter

By Chris Gunter
Wales and Tottenham defender

Chris Gunter casts his eye over his former club Cardiff City and their Premier League opponents Portsmouth ahead of the FA Cup final.

The Newport-born 18-year-old, who moved from Ninian Park to White Hart Lane in January, analyses the probable teams that the rivals are likely to field at Wembley on Saturday.


David James has had a fantastic season, he's back as England's number one now, so if he is fit then it will be a massive boost for Portsmouth.

David has gone through his career with that 'calamity' tag on him but I do think he's probably the best in the Premiership - some of the saves he pulls out are fantastic.

Portsmouth's David James and Cardiff's Peter Enckelman
Peter Enckelman joined after I left Cardiff, but speaking to the players and seeing how many clean sheets the club have kept since he arrived tells you all you need to know about him.

Peter had that famous derby mistake [letting a throw-in roll into his own net when playing for Aston Villa against Birmingham in 2002] but he's bounced back well, is a fantastic player and I think Cardiff are looking to keep him on.

VERDICT: Portsmouth advantage - David James has got the greater big-match experience.


Both defences are very good and personally I don't think there'll be many goals at Wembley.

Cardiff's back four haven't got many weaknesses, in fact they're rock-solid.

Kevin McNaughton has just been called up to the Scotland squad, he's a great player defensively but loves to attack.

The two in the centre, Glenn Loovens and Roger Johnson, have probably been two of the best Cardiff players this season, they're no messing and you certainly wouldn't want to be a centre-forward playing against them.

Cardiff's Kevin McNaughton and Portsmouth's Glen Johnson
Tony Capaldi, there's international experience again with Northern Ireland and he's got that long throw which seems to have created a few goals.

For Portsmouth, Glen Johnson has come on so much as a right-back, I look to him a little bit because when he wasn't playing at Chelsea he's gone out to get regular first-team football and he attacks so well.

The two centre-backs again are unbelievable players - Sol Campbell is so big and strong, so is Sylvain Distin.

With Hermann Hreidarsson, who's going to have so much experience, it will be tough for Cardiff to break them down.

VERDICT: Even - it's easy to say Portsmouth because they've got the experience at the higher level, but the Cardiff defence could certainly win them the game.


The Cardiff midfield all stand out for me. Peter Whittingham scored a fantastic goal against Middlesbrough to get them to the semi-final and technically he's the best player at the club.

He'll be a threat, especially when he can cut in from the right onto his left foot.

Portsmouth's Niko Kranjcar and Cardiff's Joe Ledley
The two central midfielders, Stephen McPhail and Gavin Rae, have international experience - Gav is back in the Scotland squad now - and Macca's in the Republic of Ireland squad.

They complement each other so well and work so hard for the team, and then there's Joe Ledley who is probably the weak link in the team, ha-ha!

Joe's the most likely in that midfield to score - he's into double figures this season - and has created a lot of goals for others, he probably would have been man-of-the-match against Barnsley in the semi-final even if he hadn't scored the winner.


The thing that stands out in the Portsmouth centre midfield is they're big lads! Papa Bouba Diop is so strong and if Cardiff are not careful then they could get overpowered, and Sulley Muntari has scored some fantastic long-range strikes this season.

Niko Kranjcar, I didn't know him before this year but he's had a fantastic season, scored some great goals and just seems so calm on the ball.

He likes to drift in and drift everywhere so he'll be a concern for Cardiff, as will Lassana Diarra.

VERDICT: Cardiff advantage - if the defence can keep it tight, then the midfield can certainly try and win the game for Cardiff.


Paul Parry and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink have done well as a pair for Cardiff, they complement each other quite well.

It's not by chance that Paul ended up up-front - they seemed to be running out of strikers at Cardiff with injuries - but because Jimmy's not going to run the channels, with his pace Paul can do that.

Jimmy can use all his experience from finals and pass that onto the younger ones.

Portsmouth's Kanu and Cardiff's Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink
Paul got a game a week or two ago coming back after injury so he'll be fit and, having missed the semi, I'm sure he'll be looking to make the most of the final.

For Portsmouth, Milan Baros is a great player in terms of he's quick and strong, and he won't stop running.

On the other side, a bit like Cardiff, Kanu is not going to run everywhere but he does some unbelievable things, you just don't know what he's going to do with the ball.

Cardiff will have to be careful with Baros making the runs and Kanu dropping off, but as a pairing I don't think they've played much together.

VERDICT: Portsmouth advantage, just - if all the strikers are playing as well as they can you've probably got to say Portsmouth, but Parry especially can cause problems.


If Robbie Fowler is fit and doesn't start, then Cardiff have someone who can come on and it may just be written in the script that he scores the winner.

He's had a tough season, he would admit he hasn't done as well as he would have liked and that's due to the fact he had an injury.

If Aaron Ramsey doesn't start it will be a shame because he's probably done enough to be in the team.

Cardiff's Aaron Ramsey and Portsmouth's David Nugent
It's such a big pitch at Wembley that he would love that there and with the talent he's got he's more than capable - even against a Premiership side - of coming on and changing the game.

Since he's gone to Portsmouth, Jermain Defoe has done what he's always does and scores goals. I had a few weeks training with him at Spurs and he is a fantastic finisher.

To be without him as he's cup-tied will be a big blow, but David Nugent is also a very good player.

He hasn't had a massive run in the team and sometimes as a striker you may need that, but like everyone on the bench he will be thinking 'well if I come on I can be the hero'.

VERDICT: Cardiff advantage


For Harry Redknapp and Dave Jones to get their teams to Wembley it's made both their seasons.

Portsmouth, until the last few weeks, have been up there pushing for Uefa Cup qualification in the league.

Portsmouth's Harry Redknapp and Cardiff's Dave Jones
Cardiff started quite slow but in recent months made a right charge for the Championship play-offs, so they've had a good season and Dave Jones has done a good job.

They're both great managers and the main thing with their experience is they'll be telling the teams 'just play the game', even though it's a huge game.

They won't want the players to get caught up in everything going on around it, getting sent off early or doing stuff like that, just enjoy it.


Chris Gunter was talking to BBC Sport's Bruce Pope

see also
Pompey hope for more luck in Cup
15 May 08 |  Portsmouth
Hasselbaink eyes new Cardiff deal
12 May 08 |  Cardiff City
Fowler set for FA Cup final place
12 May 08 |  Cardiff City
Ledley hails brilliant Cup chance
08 May 08 |  Cardiff City
Cup can save season, says Distin
12 May 08 |  Portsmouth
Redknapp thrilled by Wembley trip
07 May 08 |  Portsmouth
James in Cup final fitness race
28 Apr 08 |  Portsmouth
Barnsley 0-1 Cardiff
06 Apr 08 |  FA Cup
West Brom 0-1 Portsmouth
05 Apr 08 |  FA Cup
Cardiff saviours
13 May 08 |  FA Cup
Cardiff's cup of plenty
07 Apr 08 |  Cardiff City
Meet City's FA Cup slickers
03 Apr 08 |  Championship
Tottenham confirm Gunter transfer
24 Dec 07 |  Tottenham Hotspur

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