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Arsenal can lay down a marker

Arsenal
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Next year's final to clash with Prem

The FA Cup final will clash with Premier League fixtures once again next season, as the FA look to increase England's chances ahead of the 2012 European Championships.

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• Mancini: Stoke tougher than Man Utd
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• Champion: Stoke aim to defy odds
• FA Cup on ESPN UK
• FA Cup gallery Photo Gallery

This season's showpiece at Wembley threatens to be overshadowed by events earlier in the day, as Manchester United face Blackburn with the chance to clinch a record 19th league title - and many more fixtures also taking place prior to Stoke City and Manchester City's 1500 BST kick-off.

And the domestic game's governing body has confirmed a similar clash will happen again next season, as they try to give Fabio Capello four clear weeks with his England squad ahead of the international tournament in Poland and Ukraine.

FA chairman David Bernstein also revealed the final could be moved to a 1715 BST kick-off in 2012 to benefit broadcasters - although the intention is currently to return the match to its own day, keeping the traditional 1500 BST kick-off, at the next opportunity.

"I understand the situation that the Premier League have TV contracts and need to play certain matches when they do," Bernstein told the Daily Telegraph. "We are pleased there is no cross-over [on Saturday] and that the league matches will finish before our match starts.

"In the course of time - and it won't be next season - we will be looking to get the FA Cup back on its traditional day."

This year's final is on the same day as league fixtures due to UEFA's demands that Wembley be made available to them for two weeks prior to the Champions League final, which will take place at the stadium on May 28.

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