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Carlo Ancelotti wary of Portsmouth FA Cup shock

FA Cup Final, Chelsea v Portsmouth:
Venue: Wembley Stadium Date: Saturday 15 May Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live , live text commentary on BBC website and live on ITV

Carlo Ancelloti
Ancelotti guided Milan to the Coppa Italia in 2003

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti has warned his players against complacency in Saturday's FA Cup final.

The Premier League champions take on relegated Portsmouth at Wembley, hoping to secure the club's first Double.

But Ancelotti knows his team face a stern test, having witnessed Pompey stun Tottenham in the semi-finals.

"There have been a lot of surprises - Leeds beat Manchester United and Reading beat Liverpool - so we need to pay attention," stressed the Italian.

"On paper we have more quality and possibility to win but we have to play well. It's a great opportunity to win the Double for the first time but if Portsmouth play better they could win."

Chelsea have won 13 and drawn one of their 14 Premier League meetings with the south-coast club and beat them 5-0 at Fratton Park in March, but Ancelotti believes Saturday will be different despite Portsmouth having finished bottom of the league.

"We won and played well but at that time they didn't have a lot of motivation but they will on Saturday and it will be a different game," he said.

"We have to have respect for Portsmouth. They were relegated but they deserve to play in this final after beating Tottenham in the semis. We have to fight against them to win this game.

Blue Flag Geezer

"It is an opportunity for them to save the season. We have to play against players with strong motivation."

Ancelotti won the Coppa Italia four times as a player in the 1980's with Roma and once as a manger with Milan in 2003. He also guided the Italian giants to the Serie A title, two Champions League triumphs and the Club World Cup in his eights years at the San Siro.

The Chelsea boss, who secured the league title in his first season in England with Sunday's 8-0 mauling of Wigan, admitted that he was unaware of the FA Cup's standing until taking charge at Stamford Bridge.

"I did not know before this season how important the FA Cup was for every club", confessed Ancelotti.

"I have pressure because the Double is very important for this club, but I have pressure before every game."

However, Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard stressed the importance of the Cup to the club's English contingent.

Lampard focuses on 'doing the double'

"I've always had a special feeling for the FA Cup. Even regardless of the fact that we are going for the Double, the Cup has been huge for me growing up", he said.

"The English lads particularly have a very close affiliation with it and we know the special magic of the Cup, especially final day."

Lampard believes that winning on Saturday will confirm this season as the best in the club's history.

"It's huge. Obviously it's never been done here as a club and for this group of players it's something we really want to do.

"It's one of those things I grew up with knowing the teams who had done the Double so if we can put ourselves amongst those names it will probably go down as the best year in the club's history."

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see also
Chelsea 1-0 Portsmouth
15 May 10 |  FA Cup
Grant praises Pompey 'fairytale'
14 May 10 |  Portsmouth
Terry criticises FA over Wembley
15 May 10 |  FA Cup
Terry '100% fit' for FA Cup final
13 May 10 |  Chelsea
Ancelotti plots Chelsea dominance
10 May 10 |  Chelsea
Chelsea 8-0 Wigan
09 May 10 |  Premier League
Injured Mikel out of FA Cup final
06 May 10 |  Chelsea
Aston Villa 0-3 Chelsea
10 Apr 10 |  FA Cup
Tottenham 0-2 Portsmouth (aet)
11 Apr 10 |  FA Cup

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