Uho Ehiogu

Getty Images

FA Cup Preview: Emotions run high as powers meet at Wembley

Leave a comment

It’s a weekend for the big boys, with no underdogs in sight as the FA Cup hits the semifinals Saturday and Sunday.

It’s a London-heavy quartet, with Spurs aiming to knockoff Chelsea at 12:15 p.m. ET Saturday and Arsenal hoping to grab some glory with a defeat of Man City at 10 a.m. ET on Sunday.

The winners meet at Wembley Stadium on May 27 for an opportunity to lift silverware.

[ MORE: JPW’s Premier League picks ]

Any anxiety regarding whether the FA Cup should mean as much as in years past goes out the window when there are four league monsters remaining in the competition, and no one will be dodging bragging rights should their side emerge victorious.

The Saturday semifinal has Antonio Conte wary of Spurs’ power, with the Chelsea boss bristling at the thought of Tottenham being an underdog in the Premier League or the FA Cup.

And there will be plenty of emotion in the air at a building Spurs have called home several times this season, as the club continues to mourn coach Ugo Ehiogu. Both sides will wear black arm bands and the match will be marked with a minute of applause for the well-loved U-23 coach and ex-Scotland international.

Sunday brings us City and Arsenal. Pep Guardiola admits that lifting a trophy in his first season would mean a great deal in the process of further establishing Manchester City as a European power.

And Wenger isn’t blowing off the opportunity do something big in a poor season by Arsenal’s standards:

“It’s always something special. I remember my first [semi-final], when we played at Villa Park against Wolves. That’s the day when I realized how big the club is, how much it means to our supporters because suddenly the stadium is divided in two for an away game and your fans are all there.
“So it’s a special experience and we are focused and highly motivated. Maybe not at the maximum of our confidence because we had recently some disappointing results, but that is a good opportunity to show we are ready for a fight and how much we want to go to the final.”
Arsenal won the FA Cup in 2013 and 2014, while Chelsea won in 2012 and Man City 2011. Spurs have to go back to 1991 for their last final appearance and win.