Chelsea confirmed their place in the Europa League semi-finals last night, getting the better of Rubin Kazan 5-4 on aggregate. The Blues face Manchester City at Wembley in their first cup semi-final on Sunday with a place in the final of the World’s longest running cup competition – The FA Cup – up for grabs to the winner.
In their most recent encounter, City beat Chelsea 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium on February 24th as Frank Lampard had a penalty saved by Joe Hart and the Citizens were by far the better side on the day with Yaya Toure and Carlos Tevez scoring. For this match, Chelsea are in much better form, coming into it on the back of an aggregate win over Rubin Kazan to reach the Europa League semi-final and they knocked out league leading Manchester United to get to meet Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final. In fact other than their loss to Southampton in the league at the end of March and one goal losses to Steaua and Rubin Kazan in the Europa League they really have been in good form over the past couple of months since their loss to City, so we can expect a pulsating FA Cup tie.
Other good news for Chelsea is that Ryan Bertrand and Demba Ba both look like they will recover from illness and injury respectively to be in contention for the Man City game and there were no further injuries sustained by any players last night in the Europa League match. Benitez will be able to choose from an almost full-strength squad except for Ashley Cole (hamstring), Gary Cahill (knee) as well as longer-term absentee Oriol Romeu.
Manchester City come into the match on the back of a 2-1 away win over leaders Manchester United and they sit in 2nd in the League. The FA Cup is their only chance of a trophy this season and they look like they are in rather good form themselves plus they too are fairly injury free so we can look forward to a classic FA Cup clash, hopefully with plenty of goals.