Date: Saturday 22nd April 2017
Venue: Wembley Stadium
Kick-off: 17:15 GMT
Today’s game takes us to Wembley Stadium for an FA Cup semi final against Spurs.
A month ago, we might have gone into this game full of confidence but recent defeats to Palace and again last weekend against United have chipped away at that bravado. The manner of last week’s defeat in particular, where we looked completely out of sorts, hasn’t had the best impact ahead of today’s game, although to be fair, the result came against a backdrop of a ref content to ignore Rojo and Herrera hacking at ankles along with the odd handball, and the late absence of Courtois and even later withdrawal of Alonso who’d seemingly infected at least two other team mates on the pitch. This week, Gary Cahill has succumbed to gastroenteritis already so we’ll just have to hope nobody else falls foul of the bug before kick-off.
As for today’s opponents, as well as beating us already this calendar year, they’ve won their last 8 straight and as much as they’re trying to make themselves out as the underdogs, most of the predictions seem to be favouring a Spurs win this evening.
Personally, I’m just wondering how quickly we could spread this bug outside our own ranks.
Going into today’s game, Chelsea boss Antonio Conte says “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 meanwhile, says “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.”
For Chelsea, Gary Cahill is out (gastroenteritis) although Thibaut Courtois (ankle) and Marcos Alonso (bug) are available again.
For Tottenham, Winks, Lamela, Rose and Vorm are out. Danny Rose (knee) is back in training but not expected to be involved.
CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Courtois; Azpilicueta, Luiz, Zouma; Pedro, Matic, Kante, Alonso; Hazard, Costa, Willian
TOTTENHAM (Possible line-up): Lloris; Dier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen; Walker, Wanyama, Dembele, Davies; Alli, Eriksen; Kane
Tottenham 2-0 Chelsea (4th January 2017)
~ Tottenham have won just two of their last 16 meetings with Chelsea in all competitions
~ Chelsea won 5-1 the last time these sides met in the FA Cup (2012 semi final)
~ Tottenham’s last win over Chelsea in the FA Cup was a 3-2 victory in the sixth round in 1982.
~ Chelsea’s only defeat in their last five FA Cup semi-final matches came against Manchester City (2013)
~ Chelsea are looking to avoid back-to-back defeats for the first time since April 2016.
~ Chelsea have won the FA Cup six times since Tottenham last lifted the trophy in 1991.
~ Tottenham have lost six FA Cup semi-finals in a row
~ Tottenham’s last FA Cup semi-final win was 3-1 against Arsenal in 1991
~ Tottenham have won eight games in a row in all competitions
BBC Sport: Chelsea 1-1 Tottenham (Chelsea AET & penalties)
Sky Sports: Spurs win AET
Sportslens: Chelsea 1-2 Tottenham