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Chelsea penpix for FA Cup final

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Following is the penpix of Chelsea players ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup final against Everton .

Goalkeepers

1-PETR CECH, Age 27. Cech has suffered several uncharacteristic dips in form this season and has not been formidable last line of defence Chelsea fans have come to expect. However, he produced a superb display in the Champions League semi-final, first leg in Barcelona to keep the Spanish champions at bay and his place is not under threat.

40-HENRIQUE HILARIO, 33. Managed just one appearance this season in the league but an able deputy for Cech if needed.

Defenders

17-JOSE BOSINGWA, 26, Established himself as the club’s first choice right back after signing from Porto a year ago. Offers plenty of attacking options with his energy up and down the right flank. Has also proved versatile, having covered on the left from time to time.

26-JOHN TERRY, 28. Chelsea’s captain continues to lead by example, throwing himself headlong into the fray week in, week out. Not the quickest defender, but reads the game instinctively and is fearless in the tackle. A goal threat from set pieces although he has not scored as many as normal this season.

33-ALEX, 26. A hulking Brazilian barrier at the back, Alex has proved a valuable asset to the squad with injuries ruling out Ricardo Carvalho for long periods. Has a thunderbolt shot and should retain a starting place for the final.

3-ASHLEY COLE, 28. A fixture at left back for club and country with great pace and ball control.

Has avoided the niggling injuries that afflicted him for the last two seasons and is one of Chelsea’s most reliable performers.

2-BRANISLAV IVANOVIC, 25. The Serb has impressed when called upon this season, appearing equally comfortable at centre back or full back. Two headed goals against Liverpool in the away leg of their Champions League quarter-final propelled him into the hearts of the fans.

Midfielders

5-MICHAEL ESSIEN, 26. An imposing and versatile midfielder, Chelsea badly missed him for most of the season after he suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury while on international duty with Ghana. Since returning he has quickly clicked into gear, scoring a cracker against Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final.

12-JOHN OBI MIKEL, 22. The athletic Nigerian has offered power and pace and an eye for goal since joining Chelsea in controversial circumstances. Naturally likes to play a deeper role in the mould of former holding midfielder Claude Makelele.

8-FRANK LAMPARD, 30. Voted the club’s player of the season for the third time recently after another impressive campaign. Always lurking in the spaces behind the forwards, Lampard has an uncanny knack of being in the right place at the right time, scoring many goals from outside the area. His sharp brains also allows him to pick out devastating early passes.

13-MICHAEL BALLACK, 32. The Germany international is an intimidating sight in midfield. Good on the ball and a real menace in the air, Ballack also revels in the physical battles that are likely to develop in the FA Cup final.

15-FLORENT MALOUDA, 28. The winger has flourished this season after a disappointing start to his Chelsea career following his 13.5 million-pound move from Lyon. His form improved markedly after Guus Hiddink took charge and he was outstanding against Arsenal in the semi-final.

20-DECO, 31. An experienced midfield playmaker, the Portugal international arrived in London from Barcelona to join up with former national manager Luiz Felipe Scolari. However, after a bright start he has failed to shine and may look elsewhere next season. Unlikely to start in final.

Forwards:

21-SALOMON KALOU, 23. A versatile striker who is happy playing in a two or three-man attack. Scored in Chelsea’s last two league games of the season but is not prolific.

11-DIDIER DROGBA, 31. Often cast as the pantomime villain of English football with his theatrical performances, there is no doubting the Ivory Coast skipper’s class. Appeared disinterested early on in the season under Scolari, but is back to his best under Hiddink and remains a terrifying prospect for defenders with his pace, power and his ability on the deck and in the air.

39-NICOLAS ANELKA, 30. The Frenchman has often been described as moody and not being able to play in tandem with another striker, but has proved his critics wrong with an exceptional season. Scored a wonder goal against Sunderland last weekend to win the Premier League Golden Boot award with 19. Has benefited from playing in a central position after being exiled to the flanks under Scolari and Avram Grant.


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