Chelsea, despite all the glum faces around Stamford Bridge, are still on course for two trophies following their passage to the Europa League semi-final and a clash with Basel. Their record in the FA Cup is second to none, at least in recent years, but they must overcome the 2011 winners and a club still buzzing from their Old Trafford triumph.
City are bidding for a third trophy in three years; it may not be the Champions League or Premier League but fans with long memories of nothing but failure will settle for that.
Striker Demba Ba has recovered from the ankle injury he sustained against Sunderland last weekend and is available to face Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final on Sunday at Wembley. Ashley Cole and his fellow England defender Gary Cahill remain out alongside long-term absentee Oriol Romeu. Ryan Bertrand, who missed the Europa League quarter-final second leg against Rubin Kazan because of illness, was back in training today and is available.
Manchester City playmaker David Silva has not yet been ruled out of Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea at Wembley.
Manager Roberto Mancini will give the Spaniard’s hamstring until the morning of the match to prove his fitness after suffering the injury in Monday’s derby defeat of Manchester United. Striker Sergio Agüero is pushing to return to the starting line-up after two substitute appearances since recovering from a knee injury.
Projected Lineups :
Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, David Luiz, Bertrand
Hazard, Oscar, Mata,
Zabaleta, Kompany, Nastasic, Clichy
Yaya Toure, Barry
Milner, Tevez, Nasri
Key Stats :
- Chelsea are just one match away from their fifth FA Cup final in seven seasons.
- They lifted the trophy in 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2012.
- Chelsea are now unbeaten in 29 FA Cup games (excluding penalty shootouts). It is the longest ever run without defeat by a single side.
- Frank Lampard could make his 600th appearance for Chelsea.
- Chelsea have scored 125 goals this season. Their record is 142 in a season, set three seasons ago.
- City have won the competition five times, most recently in 2011, and are bidding for their 10th final.
- City have never lost an FA Cup game when Carlos Tévez has played. The City striker has featured in 11 and City have won 10 and drawn one.
Kings of Wembley as of late, but without the King – Drogba. It’s Chelsea 2nd visit to Wembley since Drogba left, the 1st? A 3-2 loss to Manchester City in the FA Community Shield. Chelsea and City have both been playing well as of late, but should Rafa Benitez’s recent defensive woes particularly against Rubin Kazan continue to be used (zonal marking), Chelsea will be in for a long night. Mata and Hazard will thrive on such a long pitch and will use all of their ability to create chances and book Chelsea’s place in the Final against Wigan : 3-2 Chelsea.