Chelsea Are Favorites to Win the English FA Cup
Chelsea have won the English FA Cup seven times in their history and they are now favourites to win the competition for fifth time in the last seven years after the latest round of matches. If they beat Middlesbrough in the fifth round they face a tough match away to Manchester United in the quarter finals.
United are still involved in three competitions and they are trying to win the Treble for the second time in the history of the club. Sir Alex Ferguson believes his current squad is better than the 1998-99 vintage but they will probably need to beat Chelsea to make more progress in the FA Cup.
That club won the Champions League last season. They beat Bayern Munich after a penalty shoot out in a match played at the Bayern stadium in Germany. Didier Drogba scored the decisive equalising goal and penalty but he has since moved on which means Fernando Torres (pictured) is the main striker.
Torres was signed from Liverpool for £50 million but has struggled to find his best form under several managers at Chelsea. Rafa Benitez is now in charge until the summer and he was recruited partly to motivate Torres to play at the level he achieved under him at Liverpool.
Despite securing Chelsea’s first Champions League title Roberto di Matteo was sacked earlier this season. The club’s Russian billionaire owner, Roman Abramovich, is ruthless when it comes to dispensing with managers and Benitez has only been given a short term contract.
Chelsea are the only winners of the Champions League to be eliminated at the group stages in the season after they won the trophy. That failure to progress further cost di Matteo his job and Benitez is unlikely to receive an extension to his contract at the end of this season.
The London club look like qualifying for next season’s Champions League. However, the Premier League title is out of their reach which means the FA Cup is their last opportunity to win a trophy during a season in which they were eligible for seven competitions.