LONDON (Sporting Alert) — Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez has decided to leave out veterans Frank Lampard, John Terry and Ashley Cole for today’s English FA Cup semifinal clash with Manchester City at Wembley Stadium.
Chelsea vs Manchester City TV Channels
11:00am – Al Jazeera Sports +3, Al Jazeera Sports +5, Fox Soccer Channel, Orange Sport, Fox Deportes, Sportsnet World, ITV 1, ESPN Australia, UTV, BBC Radio 5 Live
Fernando Torres is back on the bench with Demba Ba starting, as Benitez named an unchanged side from the team that beat Sunderland in the Premier League last week.
The attacking options will also include Eden Hazard, Juan Mata and Oscar, while John Mikel Obi returns in midfield to play alongside Ramires in the center.
Branislav Ivanovic partners David Luiz in central defence, with Cesar Azpilicueta also starting at the back as well.
“We will try to do the right things, and if we can keep winning, that will be fantastic,” Benitez said.
“It will be a tough game, playing against a team in form. But we have quality, too.
“We will see if we can manage their pressure and use our own quality against them. We have for four months been playing two games a week, but we have been rotating the players, we have fresh legs.”
Meanwhile, for Manchester City, midfield playmaker David Silva failed to recover from a hamstring injury, but Sergio Aguero, who scored the winner against Manchester United, starts.
Costel Pantilimon starts in goal instead of regular No. 1 Joe Hart, while Carlos Tevez also starts.
Chelsea v Manchester City
Chelsea: Cech, Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Luiz, Bertrand, Ramires, Mikel Obi, Hazard, Mata, Oscar, Ba
Subs: Turnbull, Ferreira, Terry, Lampard, Benayoun, Moses, Torres.
Manchester City: Pantilimon; Zabaleta, Kompany (c), Nastasić, Clichy; Y Touré, Barry; Milner, Tévez, Nasri; Aguero.
Subs: Hart, Lescott, Kolarov, K Toure, Garcia, Sinclair, Dzeko.
Referee: Chris Foy.