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Stoke's Pennant hopes to end Wembley near miss hoodoo

Jermaine Pennant is hoping to finally play at Wembley in an FA Cup final with Stoke this season after several near misses. The Potters take on Bolton in the last four at Wembley on Sunday for the right to meet either Manchester United or Manchester City in the showpiece next month.

Pennant was at Arsenal in 2001 and 2002 but was left out of the squad on both occasions, while he was cup-tied when Southampton played the Gunners a year later.

Arsenal reached the final again in 2005, when Pennant was on loan at Birmingham, and his spells with Liverpool and Portsmouth came just at the wrong time to play a part in their final exploits.

The 28-year-old said: "It got brought to my attention not long ago that I keep missing out. I played at the old Wembley but not the new one.

"Everyone wants to play there - massive stadium, big pitch, great atmosphere - so I'm looking forward to it."

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Dave Williams

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