Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez has started the mind games ahead of the FA Cup semi-final clash with Manchester City on Sunday. Chelsea will be coming into the match after having played four matches eight days, while the recently travelled to Russia on Thursday in order to play against Rubin Kazan in the Europa league. Manchester City, meanwhile, have been playing around one game a week for the last few months since been knocked out of the Champions League. As a result, the opposition have a clear advantage when it comes to the fitness and freshness of the players.
Some of the Chelsea players have been working very tired in the past few matches, but Benitez rested the key midfielders for the club – Juan Mata, Eden Hazard, and Oscar – against Rubin Kazan. Hence, they are likely to be a bit more fresh. Further, Demba Ba did not also take part in the Europa league encounter. He recently scored in the 1-0 win over Manchester United in the FA Cup, but he was not at his best against Sunderland in the last Premier league match. Fernando Torres, on the other hand, has managed three goals in his last three appearances for the team, and has been showing signs of returning to form.
“It’s always an advantage (to have rested while Chelsea travelled). I don’t know how much. We’ve tried to manage our squad and we have players with some fresh legs. Hopefully we will be fine. We have too many games and we have to use the squad. Everyone has to be on their toes. Too many games in a season. I will not say international or what kind of games. Too many games, though. Reduce the number of games: simple. To see a game where you can win 8-0 at international level is not an amazing experience for anyone,” said Benitez.