Chelsea

MONACO - NOVEMBER 22:  Bernardo Silva of Monaco  during the UEFA Champions League Group E match between AS Monaco FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC  at Louis II Stadium on November 22, 2016 in Monaco, .  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

Report: Chelsea making first waves in $88m Bernardo chase

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Monaco has slapped a massive price tag on Bernardo Silva, and The Times says that isn’t stopping Chelsea.

Antonio Conte is trying to land the 22-year-old Portuguese attacker according to the report, which says that the Blues are already chatting up the Ligue 1 outfit.

[ MORE: Wenger’s Sutton pitch worry ]

Silva has six goals and seven assists in France’s top flight this season, adding another three in the UEFA Champions League. He did not appear at EURO 2016 thanks to a hamstring injury, as Portugal won the Henri Delaunay Trophy.

Chelsea is ready to spend $88 million on the right winger, who can also play in a attacking center mid role. From The Times:

Monaco would like to secure a minimum of €80m (£68.4m) for Bernardo, who is comfortable operating on either the left or right wing or as a number 10. With Barcelona, Real Madrid and both Manchester clubs also expressing their interest Monaco, who play Manchester City in the Champions League on Tuesday, believe a money-spinning auction may develop.

Transfer prices can be hard to predict, but is Silva the sort of talent that will tempt nine figures? We’ve been surprised before, and at his age it’s possible, but color us skeptical.

FA Cup draw: Chelsea to host Man Utd in QF; Arsenal vs. Lincoln?

FA Cup draw
Photo by Scott Heavey - The FA/The FA via Getty Images
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Chelsea and Manchester United were drawn together on Sunday in one of two potentially all-Premier League ties in the 2016-17 FA Cup quarterfinals.

[ MORE: FA Cup roundup — Premier League sides underwhelm in 5th round ]

Middlesbrough will host Manchester City should the Citizens get past Championship side Huddersfield Town in the two sides’ fifth-round replay (0-0 draw on Saturday). Tottenham Hotspur will host Millwall in a volatile London derby, while fifth-division Lincoln City will visit either a fellow non-Football League side in Sutton United, or PL giants Arsenal.

Full FA Cup quarterfinals draw

Chelsea vs. Manchester United
Middlesbrough vs. Manchester City/Huddersfield Town
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Millwall
Sutton United/Arsenal vs. Lincoln City

[ MORE: Fifth-division Lincoln City shock PL side Burnley in FA Cup ]

The weekend’s FA Cup results

Burnley 0-1 Lincoln City — RECAP | REACTION
Huddersfield Town 0-0 Manchester City
Middlesbrough 3-2 Oxford United
Millwall 1-0 Leicester City
Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-2 Chelsea
Fulham 0-3 Tottenham Hotspur
Blackburn Rovers 1-2 Manchester United

Monday’s FA Cup schedule

Sutton United vs. Arsenal — 2:55 p.m. ET

FA Cup: Chelsea leave it late, sneak past Wolves to reach QF

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 18: Pedro of Chelsea (R) celebrates scoring his sides first goal with Willian of Chelsea (L) during The Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Chelsea at Molineux on February 18, 2017 in Wolverhampton, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
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It took them probably 45 minutes longer than Antonio Conte might have hoped, but Chelsea are still dreaming of 2016-17 double after grinding out a 2-0 victory away to Wolverhampton Wanderers in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Saturday.

[ MORE: FA Cup roundup — Premier League sides underwhelm in 5th round ]

For 65 minutes, the Championship side stifled the Premier League champions-elect (for all intents and purposes), until Willian, after racing down the right flank, sent a looping cross to the far post, where Pedro found himself completely unmarked. The Spaniard’s header was applied with textbook technique, down and just inside the post.

Diego Costa slammed home a loose ball from 10 yards out to make it 2-0 in the 89th minute, putting the game, and Chelsea’s place in the quarterfinals (for the 14th time in 21 seasons), beyond all doubt.

With 13 games to play in the PL campaign, the Blues hold an eight-point lead over Manchester City; no one else is closer than 10 points back.

[ MORE: Fifth-division Lincoln City shock PL side Burnley in FA Cup ]

Elsewhere in the FA Cup

Burnley 0-1 Lincoln City — RECAP | REACTION
Huddersfield Town 0-0 Manchester City
Middlesbrough 3-2 Oxford United
Millwall 1-0 Leicester City

Sunday’s FA Cup schedule

Fulham vs. Tottenham Hotspur — 9 a.m. ET
Blackburn Rovers vs. Manchester United — 11:15 a.m. ET

Monday’s FA Cup schedule

Sutton United vs. Arsenal — 2:55 p.m. ET

FOLLOW LIVE: Chelsea, Man City, Leicester aim to avoid 5th-round Cupsets

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 28:  Willian (R) of Chelsea celebrates scoring the opening goal with his team mate Cesc Fabregas (L) during the Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round match between Chelsea and Brentford at Stamford Bridge on January 28, 2017 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images
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For Premier League sides, “the magic of the Cup” hardly exists prior to the latter stages of the FA Cup — quarterfinals and beyond — considering they’re prime targets for the dreaded Cupset.

[ FOLLOW LIVE: Saturday’s FA Cup 5th-rounders ]

On Saturday, five PL sides are in action in the FA Cup, all in fifth-round clashes against opposition from the lower leagues, all the way down to the National League, the fifth tier of English football (in fact, of the eight fifth-round ties drawn, none of the eight PL sides still alive face one another).

[ MORE: Wenger says he’ll manage next season, at Arsenal or not ]

Making matters more difficult, three of the five — Chelsea, Manchester City and Leicester City — are away from home, while Burnley and Middlesbrough at least will enjoy the comfort of playing at home. For live scores and updates, hit the above link, or click right here.

Saturday’s FA Cup schedule

Burnley 0-1 Lincoln City — RECAP
Huddersfield vs. Manchester City — 10 a.m. ET
Millwall vs. Leicester City — 10 a.m. ET
Middlesbrough vs. Oxford United — 10 a.m. ET
Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Chelsea — 12:30 p.m. ET

Sunday’s FA Cup schedule

Fulham vs. Tottenham Hotspur — 9 a.m. ET
Blackburn Rovers vs. Manchester United — 11:15 a.m. ET

Monday’s FA Cup schedule

Sutton United vs. Arsenal — 2:55 p.m. ET

FA Cup predictions: Upsets at a minimum for Premier League clubs

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 19:  Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur scores their second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Fulham at White Hart Lane on April 19, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images
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Pep Guardiola said Friday that “the FA Cup is complicated”. There may be no better way to sum up the competition for top Premier League clubs.

Often sandwiched between critical league contests or European competitions, weakened lineups have become the norm in earlier rounds of the tournament.

[ MORE: Gareth Bale back this week ]

With 16 teams remaining, managers must weigh the risks of current and future schedule congestion with the fact that four more wins in the FA Cup bring silverware (and an automatic berth in the Europa League group stage).

Here are some predictions for this weekend’s fifth round match-ups:

Burnley FC vs. Lincoln City

Sean Dyche‘s Clarets are 10 points clear of the drop zone and facing non-league competition at home. They’ll have a strong lineup and win easily. Sorry, Imps, this one goes 3-1.

Middlebrough vs. Oxford United

Boro is still very much in a relegation battle, but needs to find its scoring touch in a big way. Oxford waxed a weakened Newcastle in the last round, and are no easy hurdle. 2-1, Smoggies.

Millwall vs. Leicester City

The Foxes have a trip to Sevilla and a visit from Liverpool next, and Claudio Ranieri won’t risk his best XI here. That and the away trip are probably enough to move Millwall into the quarterfinals. 1-0, Lions.

Huddersfield Town vs. Manchester City

The Terriers are Premier League hopefuls, but there’s a far cry between hope and reality. And Huddersfield boss David Wagner could be resting some guys as well with a busy promotion push ahead. Even City’s second unit — the PL giants host Monaco on Tuesday — will be enough for a 3-1 win.

Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Chelsea

With a comfortable lead in the table and no other competitions this season, Chelsea will manage to cruise on the road. 2-0.

Fulham vs. Tottenham Hotspur

Spurs need to end the woes of back-to-back poor performances, and a London Derby will have both sides ready to roar. Expect a tight one, and perhaps a replay. 2-2.

Blackburn vs. Manchester United

It’s fortunate for Blackburn that United played a Europa League match on Thursday, but the Red Devils are too deep and Jose Mourinho has several pieces of silverware on his radar. Manchester United, 2-0.

Sutton United vs. Arsenal

The fairytale ends here, as this is a classic set-up for the Gunners to showcase their might at the expense of a lesser side. Arsenal, 4-0.