Sunday, April 15, 2012

FA Cup Semis: Tottenham vs Chelsea -15 April 2012

FA Cup or the Football Association Challenge Cup, is a knockout cup competition in English football and is the oldest association football competition in the world, first held as far back as 1871–72. Entry to this famous football competition is open to all teams that compete in the Premier League, the Football League and in steps one to five of the FA National League System, as well as selected teams in step 6.

Manchester City is the current holder of the Cup, which they won in 2011 by beating Stoke City 1–0.

But this time, Manchester City does not figure out in the Final of the Cup which is scheduled to be held in May 2012. Already Liverpool has qualified for the final after evicting the Everton Saturday by 2-1. In the second semi final, Tottenham Hotspurs take on Chelsea Sunday 15 April 2012.

Hotspurs won their last and eighth FA Cup title in 1991. And since then, they have been close and played five semis but never reached the final. Therefore today's semi final is very crucial and important to the Spurs after their last semi final against Portsmouth in 2010.

Chelsea, on the other hand, have won the FA Cup five times before, losing twice in the finals. For the Blues, the match Sunday evening is important to give them a winning edge not only to enter the final, but also over awe Barcelona they are expected to meet next week in the Champions League.

As for the hot favourite for Sunday's semi, nothing can be said for sure as both teams are meeting in FA Cup semi for the first time, although something that should not be the deciding factor to know which side is favourite. As for the records, both have met eight times before and winning four matches each. Of the four matches played recently, three have ended in draw. However, many analysts believe Chelsea to dominate the Spurs - why, well no one is very sure of.

The likely probable XIs from both sides for Sunday's semi final are as under:

Tottenham: Friedel; Walker, Gallas, Nelsen, Assou-Ekotto; Lennon, Modric, Parker, Bale; Van Der Vaart; Adebayor.

Chelsea: Cech; Bosingwa, Terry, Cahill, Cole; Mikel, Lampard; Ramires, Mata, Sturridge; Drogba.

Venue / Kick off time: Wembley Stadium on Sunday April 15 2012, at 18:00 BST / 17:00 GMT.