FA Cup Final 2011

Caroline Cassidy

This year's football season is close to reaching its conclusion but for British fans the biggest event of the calendar, the FA Cup final, is still to come.

FA Cup Final 2011
FA Cup Final 2011

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The FA Cup competition first took place during the 1871-72 season and drew just 15 entries (as opposed to more than 700 teams who took part this year) - the winners of that very first final were Wanderers who beat Royal Engineers 1-0 at the Kennington Oval.

Since then a total of 42 different clubs have taken home the trophy and the competition has become one of the world's most famous sporting events of the year and will be watched both home and abroad by millions.

As the late, great Sir Bobby Robson put it: "The FA Cup Final is the greatest single match outside the World Cup Final - and it's ours."

Manchester United hold the enviable record of the most FA Cup wins with 11 trophies, but Arsenal with 10 wins and Tottenham Hotspur with eight victories are snapping at their heels - none of those three, however, will be kicking off come May 14.

On their way to Wembley are Manchester City, who managed to knock out arch rivals Manchester United in the semi-final, and Stoke City who tore Bolton apart in a 5-0 rout.

It will make for an interesting contest and both teams are hungry for success - Manchester City have not won a notable trophy since beating Newcastle in the League Cup final of 1976 while this will be Stoke's first foray into Cup final territory.

A great clash looks to be on the cards and the Wembley will be a sea of red, white and sky blue as the stadium is filled with the chants of Stoke and Man City fans - if you are one of the lucky ticket holders, the atmosphere just as much as the game will leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.

Who's your money on for the 2011 FA Cup Final? Leave your predictions below...