Chelsea will battle Manchester City for a place in the FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium this Sunday and we already know that the winner of this semi-final will be heavily fancied to lift the trophy in May.
The biggest news in terms of injuries and team news concerns Citizens playmaker David Silva, who had been rated doubtful for this match but will have the chance to prove his fitness as there has been significant improvement on his hamstring injury. However, City boss Roberto Mancini made it absolutely clear that the Spaniard would not feature if there was any sort of risk.
Chelsea come into the match will a relatively clean bill of health as Demba Ba should be available after his knock against Sunderland, so Gary Cahill, Ashley Cole and long-term casualty Oriol Romeu are the only absentees.
Rafael Benitez’s side should be feeling good as they made their way into the Europa League semi-finals and did not really have to extend themselves to get there as several key players were rested, most notably Eden Hazard and Juan Mata.
The team I’d pick:
Azpilicueta – Ivanovic – Luiz – Bertrand
Ramires – Mikel
Oscar – Mata – Hazard
The defence more or less picks itself but Benitez will have to keep an eye on Azpilicueta as there have been signs that the Spanish fullback is feeling the effects of playing so many games in such a short space of time.
Ramires and John Obi Mikel represent our most stable and solid midfield, it also seems to be the manager’s preferred choice for the big matches. All they have to do is provide a solid bass for the three ahead of them to work their magic.
It makes a nice chance that good form will dictate which forward starts the match and it is a happy headache for Benitez as both Fernando Torres and Ba have been amongst the goals recently, but I would personally opt for Torres from the start as he’s worked his socks off recently and has earned his place.