05302017

Wembley awaits Chelsea-Spurs FA Cup semi-final

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Dembele ‘not scared’ to play at Wembley

BBC coverage

How to follow:
Watch live on BBC One; listen on BBC Radio 5 live and BBC local radio; text commentary on the BBC Sport website

TEAM NEWS

Chelsea defender Gary Cahill is very doubtful after being treated for gastroenteritis but Thibaut Courtois has overcome the ankle problem that ruled him out at Man Utd last week.

Marcos Alonso missed that defeat with a stomach bug but is likely to return.

Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris should play in his first FA Cup tie since 2014 because Michel Vorm, who was earmarked to start, is out with a knee injury.

Danny Rose is back in training after a knee injury but will not be involved.

MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES

Steve Wilson: “Without doubt these are the best and most consistent teams this season. When the draw brought them together it looked like Spurs’ irresistible force against Chelsea’s immovable object – but two defeats in April may have undermined Chelsea’s air of unshakeable strength.

“Do Chelsea have the mentality to recover from being so enfeebled by Jose Mourinho’s tactical masterclass at Old Trafford? If not, has Antonio Conte’s 3-4-3 blueprint for success been unpicked?

“Did Spurs’ win over Chelsea in January finally put to bed the hoodoo that had seen them fail time and again against the Blues? Or has winning at Wembley become a problem?

“Whichever team leaves the stadium with positive answers will not only have booked a place in the FA Cup final, they just may have stolen a psychological edge in the increasingly exciting race to be champions – and, perhaps, double winners.”

Twitter: @Wilsonfooty

WHAT THE MANAGERS SAY

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Spurs are now ‘a great power in English football’

Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte: “Tottenham now is a really great power in English football.

“There is a moment you have to finish considering yourself an underdog. I think this is the right moment.”

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino: “I think if there is one favourite it’s Chelsea because they are top of the table, because of the experienced players and the manager that they have.

“We are talking about one of the best teams in Europe.

“But we are in a good moment, too, and we are hungry to challenge this type of team.”

LAWRO’S PREDICTION

FA Cup semi-finals are horrible games to play in because all everyone is thinking about is how the final is so close.

They are nearly always tight and this one will be the same. I am going to go with Chelsea to win it.

Prediction: 1-1, with Chelsea to win after extra-time and penalties.

Lawro’s full predictions v Jermaine Jenas and Trevor Nelson.

  • Think you can do better than Lawro? Predict the score for this match and the rest of this round’s Premier League fixtures in our Predictor game.
1991 - When Spurs last won an FA Cup semi-final - 3-1 v Arsenal<!–

Paul Gascoigne celebrates putting Tottenham 1-0 up at Wembley with a brilliant free-kick.

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • Spurs have won just two of their last 16 meetings with Chelsea in all competitions (D7, L7).
  • The last time these sides met in the FA Cup was at this stage in 2012 – Chelsea won that match 5-1 on the way to lifting the trophy.
  • Tottenham’s last win over Chelsea in the FA Cup was a 3-2 victory in the sixth round in 1982.

Chelsea

  • Chelsea’s only defeat in their last five FA Cup semi-final matches came in their most recent appearance at this stage of the competition against Manchester City in 2013.
  • The Blues are looking to avoid back-to-back defeats for the first time since April 2016.
  • Chelsea have won the FA Cup six times since Spurs last lifted the trophy in 1991.
  • Antonio Conte won Serie A in all three of his seasons as Juventus head coach but never won the Coppa Italia – losing 2-0 in the final to Walter Mazzarri’s Napoli in 2012.

Tottenham

  • Spurs have lost six FA Cup semi-finals in a row and are looking to avoid a record seventh straight defeat.
  • Their last FA Cup semi-final win was 3-1 against Arsenal in 1991.
  • They have won eight games in a row in all competitions, their best run since a 13-game winning streak in 1960.
  • Son Heung-min is the joint-top scorer in the FA Cup this season with six goals.

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