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Antonio Conte’s Chelsea can take their mind off the title race, temporarily at least, as they will now have to shift their focus towards the FA Cup semi-final against London rivals Tottenham Hotspur this weekend. Spurs are one of the five teams in England to have beaten Conte’s side this season and they have a great chance to do the same on Saturday when they face a rattled Chelsea side, still healing from a humiliating loss at Old Trafford last weekend.
The Blues played the Red Devils, incidentally, in the previous round to qualify for the semi-final and Conte will hope that his side put in a strong performance to take him to his first final at Wembley.
Here is the predicted lineup that the Blues might field on the night:
Conte missed shot-stopper Thibaut Courtois for the trip to Old Trafford for a niggle he picked up off the field. He is expected to be back for the tie but may not be risked. Wing-back Marcos Alonso, who was withdrawn from the squad in that game due to an illness, is expected to be back in action. Conte has no new injuries to worry about ahead of this tie.
With Courtois recovering from the knock he sustained recently, Begovic, who had a forgettable game at Old Trafford, should start this clash for Chelsea.
The Spaniard was used as a wing-back at the weekend and was overrun. He should be back into a more familiar position against the Spurs.
The Brazilian has been superb all season but was rattled by the Red Devils. He will be up against another pacey striker in Harry Kane in this semi-final.
The English defender has been solid for Chelsea but will have his work cut out against an exciting Spurs side.
He struggled against United and was completely outplayed. He will be hoping to perform better against Tottenham in this crucial FA Cup tie.
The Serbian had an off night against United but he will have a huge role to play, to add some mettle to the midfield for Chelsea against the Pochettino’s side.
The midfield engine for the Blues, Kante was second best as well at the weekend and he will hope to get back to winning ways with a strong performance this weekend.
The Italian missed the previous game with an illness but he is expected to be fit for this clash and should start on the left wing.
Had a tough night against Manchester United but Pedro has been decent this season and should be preferred over Willian for this semi-final.
The Belgian was almost invisible at Old Trafford but he is a big game player and will be a handful for the Spurs side at Wembley.
The Spanish striker resorted to aggression on a frustrating night and Chelsea will need him to do a lot more if they are to win this game.
Here is how they would line up: