Men's Team

Eight changes as City bid for FA Cup final spot

Eight changes as City bid for FA Cup final spot
Pep Guardiola has shuffled his pack and brought in fresh legs for our FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea.

Only Kevin De Bruyne, Rodrigo and Ruben Dias remain from the side that beat Borussia Dortmund in midweek.

Returning to the starting XI are Zack Steffen, Joao Cancelo, Fernandinho, Benjamin Mendy, Aymeric Laporte, Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus and Ferran Torres.



City: Steffen, Cancelo, Mendy, Dias, Laporte, Fernandinho (c), Rodrigo, De Bruyne, Sterling, Torres, Jesus

Subs: Ederson, Walker, Stones, Ake, Gundogan, Zinchenko, Bernardo, Mahrez, Foden


Formation and tactics

It looks as though Rodrigo will anchor the midfield allowing Fernandinho and Kevin De Bruyne to play in more advanced roles.

Ferran Torres and Raheem Sterling are likely to play on the flanks with Gabriel Jesus through the middle – though all three can interchange with each other comfortably.

The back four is more straightforward, with Cancelo in his preferred right-back berth and Mendy on the left, with Dias and Laporte in the centre.

As has been the case for several months, a particularly strong bench is on hand should they be needed.

Hardest test possible?

Chelsea have been revitalised under the tutelage of Thomas Tuchel.

Just two losses in 18 games is a fantastic start to life for the German boss with the only blot on his copybook a bizarre 5-2 home defeat to West Brom.

He has guided the West London side to the FA Cup semi-finals, Champions League semi-finals and are well-placed to take a Premier League top four spot.

He has made Chelsea a tough nut to crack, with tactical nous and a team that works extremely hard with and without the ball.

As opponents go, this is as tough as they come and we will need to be at our very best to reach the final.

Chelsea triple bill?

Could this be the first of three crucial games against Chelsea in three different competitions?

The teams meet today to battle it out for a place in the FA Cup final and will face off again at the Etihad in just over three weeks’ time in a Premier League clash that could potentially see City win the title.

But what about one more game, on May 29 in the Champions League final? Real Madrid and Paris St Germain will have something to say about that possibility, but it is a fact that if Chelsea beat Madrid and City see off PSG, we could have an all-English final in Istanbul.

That is all best case scenario of course, but it could happen – and if it does, a third meeting in a little over six weeks would mean the two sides would know each other very well by that point!

Stats and facts

  • Chelsea have never beaten City in three attempts at the new Wembley. They lost 2-1 in the 2013 FA Cup semi-final, 2-0 in the 2018 Community Shield and on penalties in the 2019 League Cup final.
  • City have won four of six FA Cup ties against Chelsea.
  • Chelsea have won seven of their past eight FA Cup semi-finals, with their only defeat in that spell inflicted by Manchester City in 2013.
  • Timo Werner has scored just twice in his past 33 games for club and country, with one of those goals coming in the 4-0 FA Cup third-round win over Morecambe in January.
  • City will be looking to reach our 12th FA Cup final.
  • City have lost just one of our last 10 trips to Wembley in all competitions (W7, D2), but that defeat was in last season's FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal.
  • City have only failed to score in four of their 50 matches so far this season.
  • Kevin de Bruyne has four goals and five assists in his past eight FA Cup appearances.
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