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Liverpool and Chelsea meet in FA Cup semi-final

Written by: Staff

LONDON, Mar 24 (Reuters) Chelsea and Liverpool will meet for the 10th time in two seasons after being paired in the FA Cup semi-final draw today.

West Ham United will play Middlesbrough or Charlton Athletic in the other semi as the door opens for one of England's smaller clubs to savour the FA Cup final.

Chelsea meet Liverpool at Old Trafford on Apr. 22 and the other semi will take place the following day at Villa Park.

Champions Chelsea, 12 points clear in the Premier League and bidding for a first league and Cup double, have played Liverpool nine times in the last two seasons with Liverpool winning just one, last season's Champions League semi-final second leg.

This season Chelsea won 4-1 at Anfield and 2-0 at home in their two league games while their two Champions League meetings were goalless draws.

European champions Liverpool, out of Europe and fighting it out with Manchester United for second place in the league, are seeking to win the Cup for the seventh time.

If Charlton win their replay against Middlesbrough following Thursday's goalless draw at The Valley they will be in the semis for the first time since they won the Cup in 1947.

They have played London rivals West Ham five times in the Cup, losing every time.

West Ham are seeking to reach the final for the first time since they won it as a second division club in 1980. Their last semi-final appearance was a 4-0 thrashing by Nottingham Forest in 1991.

Middlesbrough's only final appearance came in 1997 when they lost 2-0 to Chelsea.

The final will be at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium on May 13 after the rebuilding of Wembley fell behind schedule.

Reuters SI DB2351

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