Make no mistake about it, Manchester City are favourites to beat Chelsea and reach the FA Cup final tomorrow at Wembley.
The Sky Blues go in to the match off the back of an impressive and morale-boosting victory over their city rivals United while Rubin Kazan made Chelsea fight to stay in the Europa League.
Since the two sides met in February City have played just five games – winning four – while Chelsea have played 11 and have won seven.
City players have only had to travel as far as Birmingham while Chelsea have gone to Romania and Moscow – not to mention Middlesbrough.
Chelsea are in reasonably good form, having won three out of four games this month (and the loss against Rubin Kazan didn’t really matter), but City are simply a better team and should be better prepared for the match.
City aren’t going to win the league so the FA Cup is their only chance of silverware and, with a winnable final against Wigan or Millwall, this is their most important match of the season left.
But despite all this Chelsea supporters will feel strangely confident ahead of the match. We’re used to winning the FA Cup and used to winning at Wembley.
The Blues have won four of the last six FA Cups since the competition returned to its Wembley home in 2007.
The only problem is that in all four of those finals the winner was scored by one man – Didier Drogba. He also scored four goals in the four Wembley semi-finals in that time.
Now Chelsea have to find a way to win at Wembley without their FA Cup king.
Manager Rafa Benitez faces a tough decision over who should attempt to take up the Drogba role tomorrow – Fernando Torres or Demba Ba.
Torres has shown some signs of improvement in recent weeks and, by his standards, is in a rich vein of form. But Benitez will also be tempted by Ba after his performance in the quarter-final replay against Manchester United.
As well as scoring the goal Ba held the ball up well against a very good side. Torres may have scored three goals in three games – and played well – since Ba scored against United, but these were against weaker sides than City.
In addition to Drogba, Chelsea also look likely to start the match without three other consistent FA Cup performers – John Terry and Frank Lampard, who are out of favour with the manager, and the injured Ashley Cole.
On paper things do not look good for Chelsea. But it is Wembley and it is the FA Cup – you have to feel the Blues have a chance tomorrow.