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Combined XI: Chelsea's FA Cup winners from 2007 vs. 2018

To mark the anniversaries of Chelsea's FA Cup triumphs in both 2007 and 2018, Sports Mole creates a combined XI from both final squads.

May 19 is arguably the most celebratory date in the calendar for Chelsea.

It was on that date that the club enjoyed arguably their greatest ever night - overcoming Bayern Munich in their own backyard to win the 2012 Champions League, the first and so far only time they have been crowned Kings of Europe.

Even beyond that there has been success for Chelsea on May 19, winning both the 2007 and 2018 FA Cup finals on this exact day.

Incidentally, the two finals spaced 11 years apart both came against Manchester United, and on both occasions the Blues came out on top by a 1-0 scoreline.

There is even more symmetry in the fact that Jose Mourinho was in the Chelsea dugout for the 2007 final, before being on the opposing side 11 years later.

Here, to mark the anniversary of both triumphs, Sports Mole has created a combined XI from both the 2007 and 2018 FA Cup-winning teams, with only players who featured in either final eligible for inclusion.



CHE XI FACUP

There are difficult decisions throughout this XI, and the tone is set in goal with Petr Cech facing Thibaut Courtois - a battle which actually took place when the pair were both at the club together in 2014-15.

Courtois was eventually chosen as Chelsea's first choice, but taking both in their prime Chelsea careers we have to side with Cech, for whom the 2007 success was the first of four FA Cup trophies he would lift with the Blues.

Cesar Azpilicueta's versatility comes in handy for this team, with the Spaniard having actually played as a centre-back in the 2018 final but being equally at home on the right, beating out competition from Paulo Ferreira and Victor Moses.

On the opposite flank Ashley Cole gets the nod as one of the best full-backs of his generation, although the decision to pick him above Wayne Bridge and Marcos Alonso was not quite as straightforward as it might seem considering he only came on in the 108th minute of the 2007 final - one of a record seven FA Cups he won during his illustrious career.

One of the sure-fire picks for this XI - and the man given the armband - is club legend John Terry at centre-back, but the decision of who to partner him with was more difficult.

Michael Essien was the man chosen to play alongside him at the back in the 2007 final, while Gary Cahill provided more strong competition from 2018, but we have gone for Antonio Rudiger courtesy of his man-of-the-match performance at Wembley in the latter final.

Chelsea players celebrate winning the 2007 FA Cup© Reuters

Creating this XI appeared to put us on a collision course with the ultimate decision - Claude Makelele or N'Golo Kante; fortunately, we have found a way to get around that by selecting them both, ahead of John Obi Mikel.

The French duo are two of the best defensive midfielders of their respective generations and, with Kante also capable of having an impact further up the field, that pairing is a dream holding midfield partnership for Chelsea fans.

With such a solid base, those in front would have free license to work their magic. Club-record goalscorer Frank Lampard was an easy selection ahead of Tiemoue Bakayoko and Cesc Fabregas, while Eden Hazard, who scored the only goal of the 2018 final, was also a shoo-in ahead of Joe Cole.

Right-wing was a more difficult choice, particularly with Arjen Robben only featuring as a sub in the 2007 final, which came at the end of an injury-hit campaign and proved to be his final game for the club. The Dutchman's match-winning ability just about gives him the edge over Willian, Salomon Kalou and Shaun Wright-Phillips for us, though.

The centre-forward was another of the simple choices in the team, with Didier Drogba, whose extra-time goal sealed the 2007 title, a clear winner above Olivier Giroud and Alvaro Morata from 2018.

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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CLiverpool34302275264992
2Manchester CityMan City34223986345269
3Chelsea341861063461760
4Leicester CityLeicester34178964323259
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd341610859332658
6Wolverhampton WanderersWolves34131384537852
7Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd34131293533251
8Arsenal34121485042850
9Tottenham HotspurSpurs341310115244849
10Burnley34147133846-849
11Everton34129134149-845
12Southampton34135164356-1344
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle341110133550-1543
14Crystal Palace34119143043-1342
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton34812143647-1136
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham3487194059-1931
17Watford34710173153-2231
18Bournemouth3477203259-2728
19Aston Villa3476213665-2927
20Norwich CityNorwich3456232663-3721

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