Downing delivers Wembley warning

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Stewart Downing is hungry to score against Chelsea in Saturday's FA Cup final at Wembley.

The midfielder scored his first goal for Liverpool in the third round against Oldham, and also netted the winner against Stoke in the quarter-finals.

"That was a great feeling, scoring my first goal for Liverpool against Oldham, and it was a long time coming," said Downing. "Scoring against Stoke was even better because it got us in the semi-finals, which was probably my proudest moment at Liverpool."

His Premier League strike rate is less impressive - having failed to find the net in the league since arriving at Anfield in the summer - but the England international remains confident ahead of this weekend's encounter, and hopes to get the decisive strike on Saturday.

"I had been hitting the post and the bar, which has probably been the story of my season, but you've got to keep getting in positions and trying to score," he continued.

"Hopefully I can emulate previous performances and get the winning goal. But if the other lads score and we win the game then that's the main thing for me."

This weekend will be Liverpool's third appearance at the national stadium this season, following their Carling Cup final victory, and semi-final success against Everton, and Downing claims that it has become like a second home to the Reds.

"We've got some good memories playing there and hopefully we can come back with some more. We had a great day against Cardiff and we got our first trophy, which is important for a new-look team. Now we want more."

Liverpool are really confident going into this fixture but Downing never underestimates his opponents, and in this case he is aware of the qualities the Champions League finalists possess.

"I think it will be our biggest test of the season. No disrespect to the other teams we have played like Cardiff and Everton, but they are a strong team with big characters who have been there and done it."

He pointed out that in football though anything could happen. Taking example from their opponents' performance in Camp Nou, Downing believes Liverpool can take on anyone.

"Before the semi-final everyone said Everton would beat us because they are the team in form, but look what happened. It's about who wants it more."

Chelsea lost twice this season to Liverpool and Downing insists that the Blues defence will not be looking forward to facing Luis Suarez.

"The hat-trick (against Norwich) wasn't bad was it? He's a big player for us and we need him in form. I'm confident we can beat them.

"Some players don't win anything in their career so to be in with a chance of winning two trophies is absolutely brilliant."

Stewart Downing
FA Cup
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