Portsmouth defender Tal Ben Haim expects to be fit to face Chelsea in the FA Cup Final at Wembley on Saturday after recovering from a serious groin injury.
The Israeli came on as a substitute in the 1-0 away defeat at Everton last week after several months on the sidelines, and is determined to play even if he requires painkilling injections.
It remains unclear whether Pompey boss Avram Grant will name Ben Haim in the starting line up, or on the substitutes bench. Ben Haim is out for revenge against Chelsea who took him on a free transfer in the summer of 2007 and sold him on to Man. City for £5 million, 12 months later.
Ben Haim said: “Avram and I are both looking for revenge. I've nothing to prove to them because I played 23 games for Chelsea, and I played well. Avram has nothing to prove either, he took them to their first ever Champions League final."
“We have a chance. It's true we are playing a far better team but in one game anything can happen. We certainly have nothing to fear."
The cup final will almost certainly be Ben Haim's last game for Portsmouth, who are still in administration and have been relegated from the Premier League. With weekly wages of £40,000, the South Coast outfit cannot afford to keep the Israeli. There has been no interest in Ben Haim from other Premier League sides, but a good performance at Wembley could bring in offers.
If he plays, Ben Haim would be only the second Israeli to play in the FA Cup final. Yossi Benayoun played for West Ham aganist Liverpool in 2006.