SOCCER UPDATESS – Interim Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez is likely to make several changes from the side that travelled to Moscow to face Rubin Kazan last time out, with the likes of Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Branislav Ivanovic set for a return to the Blues starting XI.

The Spanish boss should be able to call on Demba Ba (ankle), with the Senegal striker progressing well after picking up a knock in Sunday’s win over Sunderland at Stamford Bridge, while Ryan Bertrand (illness) will be hoping to shake off the virus that forced him to miss the club’s trip to Russia.

Ashley Cole (hamstring) and Gary Cahill (knee) are close to first team return, but this game may come too soon for the defensive pair. Midfielder Oriol Romeu (knee) will miss the rest of the season.

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini will be sweating over the fitness of key midfield schemer David Silva (hamstring), after the Spain attacker limped off during the 2-1 win at rivals Manchester United on Monday.

Defender Micah Richards (knee) has returned to fuill training, but this game may come to soon for a first team return, whilst Jack Rodwell (hamstring) and Maicon (knee) are both likely to be missing.


  • Chelsea have contested four of the last six FA Cup finals (winning them all). They are the current holders of the trophy.
  • The Blues have won the competition seven times in all: only Manchester United (11), Arsenal (10) and Tottenham (8) have won it more often.
  • Rafa Benitez won the FA Cup in 2006 when his Liverpool team defeated West Ham in the last final at the Millennium Stadium.
  • Manchester City have lost just once in domestic competitions this season after scoring first (against Aston Villa in the Capital One Cup).  They have drawn two and won 18 of the Premier League games they have led.
  • Carlos Tevez has scored five goals in this season’s competition – making him the second-highest goalscorer. Aldershot forward Danny Hylton (8) leads the goalscoring charts.
  • City have won six of their last seven games in all competitions.
  • These two sides met in this season’s Community Shield, with City running out 3-2 winners at Villa Park. Roberto Mancini’s men have also shaded the two Premier League encounters between the two, winning 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium, and earning a goalless draw at Stamford Bridge.


MANCHESTER CITY : Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Clichy, Kompany, Nastasic, Barry, Millner, Yaya Toure, Nasri, Aguero, Tevez.

CHELSEA FC                 : Cech, Azpillicueta, Ivanovic, Luiz, Bertrand, Ramires, Mikel, Hazard, Mata, Oscar, Ba.