Conte’s FA Cup journey faces formidable Spurs test
Antonio Conte’s hopes of a domestic double in his first season as Chelsea manager faces a formidable obstacle in the shape of Tottenham Hotspur in their FA Cup semi-final after Monday’s draw.
Conte – who has transformed Chelsea from the mid-table side they were last term to runaway Premier League leaders this campaign – will be heartened by the fact Spurs’ record at Wembley is woeful.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side won just one of four European ‘home’ games played there this season although the Argentinian’s side did end Chelsea’s 13-match winning streak earlier this season with a 2-0 win at White Hart Lane.
The last time Spurs reached this stage, in 2012, they also faced Chelsea and were thrashed 5-1.
“To arrive in the semi-finals and play at Wembley is a good satisfaction for us,” said Conte following Monday’s 1-0 win in their quarter-final against Manchester United.
“It’s another strong game against a strong team.
“We start with one win for them and one for us (in the Premier League this season). For sure it will be an exciting game for our fans, an interesting game for us, that’s for sure.
“They showed they are able to beat us, but also we showed we are able to beat them.
“Now we will see the result in the semi-final.”
The other semi-final pitches Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal against Manchester City, managed by Pep Guardiola.
The Gunners boss is hoping the Cup can provide some salvation in what has been a disappointing season — a repeat of the last time the two teams met at Wembley would suit him as Arsenal ran out 3-0 winners in the Community Shield.
City have played the Gunners just three times previously in the competition with the last meeting 46 years ago, when the London side were 2-1 victors at Maine Road in the fifth round thanks to a brace from Charlie George.
Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur
Arsenal v Manchester City
To be played weekend of April 22/23.
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