Carlisle United will make history on Sunday when they become the first team to play in their fifth final of the Football League Trophy, when they take on Southampton.

The Cumbrians have reached the final more times than anyone else but they go in search of only their second win, while for Southampton this is their first season of playing in the competition.

Carlisle have played in two finals at the old Wembley Stadium and two at Cardiff's Millenium Stadium but this will be both theirs and Southampton's first appearance at the new Wembley, an experience everyone is looking forward to:

"It's a boyhood dream," Saints keeper Kelvin Davies told www.saints.co.uk

"I can remember playing in the garden when the FA Cup final was on and I'd get my dad out at half time to play 'Wembley' outside, I'd get my mates over and that's how it was, we didn't call it anything else.

"I've got family and friends from all over coming to the game and it means a lot to them and for me to step foot out there and play a game of football, it's a dream."

Carlisle defender Evan Horwood told www.carlisleunited.co.uk: "I think the biggest thing about this weekend is that we go and enjoy it.

"Obviously it's a game that we all want to win, but it will be a fantastic occasion as well. We have players at the club who have played there before, like Graham Kavanagh, and they tell you that it's a great day all round.

"Mind you, we all want to win it, and we're definitely going there with that aim. Southampton have been playing really well, and they have some good players, but so do we."

HEAD TO HEAD

The two sides have only met 11 times in history, the first of those coming in 1965 when the clubs were both in the old Division 2.

During that season both sides won their home meeting 1-0. Since then Carlisle have won four more meetings, while Southampton have won just two, the last coming in 1983 in the Second Round of the League Cup.

In total Carlisle have won five and lost three, while three other matches have ended all square, including the Coca-Cola League 1 meeting earlier in the season. That match at Brunton Park ended 1-1 after Radhi Jaidi's 90th minute strike cancelled out Scott Dobie's earlier strike.

ROUTE TO THE FINAL

Carlisle United's route to the final was not one without drama, starting back in August when it took a penalty shootout for them to overcome Morecambe.

Two goals from Graham Kavanagh saw the visitors come from behind twice to draw 2-2 after 90 minutes before winning 4-2 on penalties.

They also came from a goal down in the Second Round before going on to beat Macclesfield Town 4-2 at Brunton Park. Four goals in the last 26 minutes including a brace from Scott Dobie set up a trip to Chesterfield.

A Darren Currie penalty on the stroke of half time saw United behind again but second half strikes from Matthew Robson, Peter Murphy and Adam Clayton saw Carlisle progress to the Northern Section semi-finals.

A 3-0 win over Bradford City followed, thanks to goals from Richard Keogh, Dobie and Robson.

The Northern Final pitted them against Leeds United where the drama was at its best. Goals from Graham Kavanagh and Joe Anyinsah sandwiched a strike from Jason Crowe to earn Greg Abbot's side a 2-1 win at Elland Road but the second leg didn't quite go according to plan, despite Adam Clayton giving the home side the lead.

Robert Snodgrass gave the visitors hope and made it 3-2 on aggregate with a strike just seconds into the second half but Carlisle's two goal advantage was restored on 72 when Kevan Hurst fired home but the game wasn't over yet.

Late goals from Crowe and Mike Grella levelled the tie up at 4-4 and the Cumbrians won through 6-5 on penalties when Shane Lowry missed his vital spot-kick.

Southampton also had a difficult route to the final and their challenge was almost over as soon as it began, at the Second Round stage. They had to come from 2-0 down to beat Torquay United at St Mary's and were thankful to Papa Waigo N'Diaye who scored both goals.

Goals from Wayne Thomas and Rickie Lambert earned the Saints a 2-1 win over Charlton in the next round and set up a semi-final clash with Norwich City.

Papa Waigo opened the scoring at St Mary's but it took a goal in injury time from Dan Harding to take the game to penalties after Gary Doherty and Chris Martin scored for the Canaries. Southampton went through 6-5 at the end of the shootout.

The MK Dons provided the opposition for the Southern Section Final and Michail Antonio gave Southampton a 1-0 lead from the first leg at stadiummk. Rickie Lambert was on target in the second leg before an own goal from Danny Woodards gave Southampton a 3-0 aggregate lead. Mark Randall pulled a goal back before Adam Lallana secured the Saints' trip to Wembley.

TEAM NEWS

Carlisle will be without several key players for Sunday's match, with David Raven (hip), Andy Cook (foot) and Kevan Hurst (knee) all missing out.

Danny Livesey will be given as long as possible to recover from the hamstring problem he sustained last Tuesday night. He returned to training today (Friday) so providing he suffers no adverse effects he will be included in Sunday's squad.

The Cumbrians will be without striker Jason Price though who is cup tied after featuring in the competition previously for Millwall.

Southampton will be forced into several changes from the side that took on Hartlepool United in midweek with Jason Puncheon and Daniel Seaborne cup-tied along with Jon Otsemobor.

Graeme Murty and Wayne Thomas will both definately miss out, while Michail Antonio, Radhi Jaidi, Lloyd James, David Connolly and Morgan Schneiderlin (hamstring) are all rated as doubtful.

Youngster Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could be set to be included in the squad at just 16. The midfielder made his first team debut in the 5-0 win over Huddersfield Town, earlier this month, and became the Saints second youngest ever appearance maker behind Theo Walcott.

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