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Page last updated at 11:01 GMT, Friday, 29 May 2009 12:01 UK

Where the FA Cup will be won and lost

Guus Hiddink, Frank Lampard, the FA Cup trophy, Tim Cahill and David Moyes

In an age when winning the Champions League is regarded by many as the ultimate prize, with Premier League success the benchmark in the domestic game, one could be forgiven for assuming the FA Cup has lost some of its glamour.

Try telling that to Guus Hiddink or David Moyes.

Chelsea, contemplating a second successive season without silverware, are desperate to bid adieu to Hiddink with a trophy, with midfielder Frank Lampard admitting he would be "devastated" to fall at the final hurdle at Wembley.

And, for Everton, a major domestic trophy would not only end a 14-year wait for silverware, but also go a long way to rewarding Moyes' impressive reign at Goodison Park with tangible success, a Cup to go alongside four top-six finishes in five campaigns.

For the Toffees to do that, though, they will have to upset the form book - Chelsea are odds-on favourites to pick up a fifth FA Cup.

BBC Sport spoke to three-time winner and Match of the Day 2 pundit Lee Dixon to analyse how Everton go about beating the Blues.

THE FORM BOOK

"Everybody would make Chelsea favourites.

"There was a time, before Hiddink took over, when they were having such a poor run that they looked a team in complete disarray. But they've turned their season around, suffered just one defeat in 21 games, and they'll go into the game with such confidence.

PHIL McNULTY BLOG

"Still, I don't think David Moyes will mind being underdogs at all - in fact, I'm sure he'll enjoy it.

"Everton have had a terrific season in their own right and Moyes will know, looking at the way his team have played and the teams his side have beaten, that they have every hope of beating another big team and picking up the trophy."

COMBATTING THE FRONT THREE

"I'm sure Chelsea will stick with the principles and players that have served them so well of late because they've found a way of playing that suits them. That most probably means a front three of Florent Malouda, Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka - and that trio is lethal.

"Malouda, finally, has hit some form. We've all been waiting for him to spark off given his obvious talent, but until recently he's been very disappointing. Now he's showing what he's really capable of.

"Through the middle, Didier Drogba - on his day - is unplayable. He's big, he's strong, he's skilful, and most importantly he knows where the goal is.

Chelsea's front three in attack

"But, for me, the key to Chelsea's frontline this season has been Anelka. I expect him to start on the right of the three and he's such a good footballer, he has shown he can succeed anywhere.

"When he starts out wide, he can do a lot of damage. He can scores goals from there, he can cut inside, he can drift and he can cross too which is hugely advantageous - he sets goals up as well as scoring them and it will be key for Everton to stop him.

"That means the full-backs face a big task.

"Leighton Baines and Tony Hibbert have to cut the supply lines into the box to give the centre-halves as much help as possible in keeping Drogba quiet.

"Of course, Everton will be without the injured Phil Jagielka and I could not feel more sorry for the lad, it's desperately unlucky for the lad. But Everton have cover in Joseph Yobo and Joleon Lescott and they have the pace, power and nous to compete with Drogba, I'm sure.

"The difficulty that Everton face, though, is that when you have four defenders up against three attackers, it is easy to lose sight of the runners from midfield. And, in Frank Lampard, Chelsea have the very best in the business at making those runs…"

NULLIFYING LAMPARD

"I expect Everton to flood the midfield in a 4-5-1 formation, and I think it is vital for Moyes to detail one player at man-marking Lampard - possibly Phil Neville or Marouane Fellaini.

"If you come up against a player who can break from midfield, it's something you always find difficult to combat as a defender, so it's hugely important you are helped by your midfield, and your defensive midfielder is a vital player.

"Lampard, as we all know, is the absolute expert at making those late runs from midfield and getting into goal-scoring positions. With Malouda, Drogba and Anelka occupying the back four, Lampard knows if he gets into the box, those three have the ability to find him.

"Whoever has the job of marking him has to stick to him like glue, because if you lose him only for a moment, he will pop up in a dangerous position and punish you.

"Everton have a lot of hard-working runners in the midfield, all of whom are seeing the benefits of the way Moyes wants them to play with the success they're enjoying in the league and Cup.

"When you've got that formula and you know it works, you get a far better reaction from the players because they see the results out on the pitch. It makes everyone a more willing runner, a more willing worker, and that's pivotal to Everton's play.

"They must hassle, harry and out-work their Chelsea midfield opponents, while also being clever to track the runs from midfield that could potentially expose a defence that will be being pulled from pillar to post by Chelsea's front three."

EVERTON'S ATTACKING THREAT

"All of this will ensure Everton's approach will be nothing if not patient.

"They will aim to be tight at the back and quite defensive minded in midfield, with an eye on work-rate and keeping their shape, hitting Chelsea on the break whenever they can.

"But that's not to say Everton cannot trouble Chelsea in attack.

Everton in defence

"Moyes has had real injury problems this season up front, and at times we've seen them play without a main frontman and still be successful. They've had to play a certain way this season because of those injuries up front, and in many ways that can help them at Wembley.

"Firstly, among a hard-working midfield is a selection of players happy to break into the box - Leon Osman, Marouane Fellaini, Steven Pienaar and, in particular, Tim Cahill.

Everton in attack

"Much like Lampard, Cahill is more than capable of making those late runs into the box that can be so hard to defend against. But the Australian also brings a tremendous aerial ability to the party, and he gets on the end of so many crosses he can be such a danger.

"What Everton have to guard against is being so keen to nullify Chelsea that fail to get enough players in forward wide positions to supply the ammunition for those late runs. If they can provide the crosses, Everton have the players - in midfield and attack - to score from them.

"We've also seen this season that Everton are a real threat from dead-ball situations. Lescott, in particular, can come up from defence and score goals and I'd wager Moyes will look at any frailty he can identify in Chelsea's defence and look to exploit it from free-kicks and crosses."

THE MANAGEMENT

"The match pits two quality managers against each other - and they're also two of the nicest blokes in football as well.

"Hiddink has impressed everyone with the way he has turned Chelsea around, and at the back end of the season they were showing real Championship-winning form. If they'd have had any sort of decent start to the seasonm they would have pushed Manchester United all the way.

HIDDINK v MOYES
Guus Hiddink and David Moyes
63...............AGE...................46
21............PLAYED..............329
15...............WON................139
5...............DRAWN................79
1.................LOST...............111
WWWDW....FORM........WWDWL

"He's got Chelsea playing again, in a system they are comfortable with and in which every player knows his job. The players are clearly supportive of him and they are playing like a real team again, which is testmanent to the job the Dutchman has done.

"He will be desperate to sign off his time at Chelsea with a trophy and his experience of big matches - with PSV Eindhoven, with Holland, with Russia - will be crucial.

"But, from a neutral's point of view, I think everybody would want Everton to win it for David Moyes.

"What he's done at Everton over the past few seasons cannot have failed to impress anyone and, again this season, he's in my top three managers of the year.

"He's well liked in the game, an incredibly nice bloke, and he has done an amazing job.

"He totally deserves some silverware for what he's done over the years and, even though football doesn't always give you what you deserve, I just feel it'd be a truly deserved achievement if his side can win him the FA Cup."

THE VERDICT

"I'm notoriously bad at tipping, so don't go throwing your life savings away on my say-so!

"I think the best Everton can hope for, because I can't see them scoring too many goals, is to keep things tight and pinch a narrow 1-0 win.

"However. you look at Chelsea's team and you see goals in every department, ensuring it will be hugely difficult for Everton to nullify Hiddink's side in every area.

"The romantic in me would love to see Moyes win it, but I think it'll go Chelsea's way, 2-1."

Lee Dixon was talking to BBC Sport's Sam Lyon



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see also
Chelsea 2-1 Everton
30 May 09 |  FA Cup
Hiddink tempted by English return
29 May 09 |  Chelsea
Hiddink enhances reputation
28 May 09 |  Chelsea
Everton ready to win Cup - Moyes
29 May 09 |  Everton
Pressure is on Chelsea - Baines
29 May 09 |  Everton
Lampard eager to reward Hiddink
25 May 09 |  FA Cup
Everton seek Cup ticketing review
22 May 09 |  Everton
Everton fan's FA Cup guard honour
20 May 09 |  Merseyside
Jagielka hails Everton character
19 May 09 |  Everton
Jagielka knee surgery a success
30 Apr 09 |  Everton
Wembley to re-lay turf for finals
24 Apr 09 |  Football
Hiddink happy to bow out in final
18 Apr 09 |  FA Cup
Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea
18 Apr 09 |  FA Cup
Man Utd 0-0 Everton (aet)
19 Apr 09 |  FA Cup


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