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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Feb 23, 2007

Mourinho predicts classic Carling Cup Final

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho believes that Sunday's Carling Cup final against Arsenal has all the ingredients of a classic match.

The Blues, rocked by the loss of captain John Terry for the all-London showdown at Cardiff's Millennium stadium, are hoping to land their first trophy out of four.

Chelsea remain involved in the FA Cup and the Champions League and are chasing Manchester United at the top of the Barclays Premiership.

The Carling Cup was the first trophy Mourinho won with Chelsea in England and he believes the first-ever league cup final featuring two teams from the capital has the potential to be a memorable one.

Mourinho said: 'When a team goes to the final for the first time, or that final is the only way to win a trophy, I think the game can be more emotional and less quality.

'But this is a case where we have won it before and Arsenal have won it before. It is not the main target for Chelsea, and I believe it is not the main target for Arsenal.

'So I believe it is a final that has conditions to be less emotional and more quality. I think it has everything to be a good final.

'Both teams are the ones who have had a more difficult way to Cardiff. Chelsea had to beat Newcastle away, Blackburn away and Aston Villa at home.

'Only after that did we play a team from the lower divisions, but before that, it was very difficult to beat Newcastle and Blackburn away.

'Arsenal had to beat Liverpool away and Tottenham in two legs. So I think both teams deserve to be in the final.'

Mourinho also hopes the Millennium Stadium pitch will be in perfect condition after voicing his unhappiness with the turf on his previous visits.

He added: 'I hope the pitch is better than when we played there before, not just in the Carling Cup final but also in the Community Shield because the pitch was not good.

'And for a bad pitch, Stamford Bridge is enough. So we hope it is a good pitch.'

Chelsea ripped up their own turf after their FA Cup win over Norwich last weekend and hope to have a new one in place for the visit of Porto in the return leg of their Champions League clash.

The first leg finished 1-1 in Porto on Wednesday night with Andriy Shevchenko's 58th strike in European competitions earning them a vital away goal.

But Chelsea also lost captain Terry with an ankle ligament injury during the game, and there are fears he could be out for up to six weeks.

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