Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
Sport | By Scott Davis

Chelsea still favourites for Cup semi-final - Pochettino

Chelsea still favourites for Cup semi-final - Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino launched the FA Cup mind games by turning up the pressure on Chelsea and hailing them favourites.

Tottenham are the form team in England, having won their previous eight matches in all competitions and, in the process, they have closed to within four points of Chelsea, who are top of the Premier League with six matches to play.

Earlier this week, Terry, Chelsea's most successful captain, said that he will leave Stamford Bridge at the end of the campaign.

"We are talking about a team that has won a European competition, has a manager that won the league with Juventus in Italy". They are more experienced than us. "Today, to beat Tottenham is a big, big challenge for everyone, which is good news for us".

Confidence is sky high and reflected in an attacking verve that has seen them average over three goals per game during the current winning streak while the defence has not lost any of its miserly qualities. We must feel the happiness. "We are happy to fight with the best team in England for the Premier League and (FA) Cup".

Spurs can also deny Chelsea a £1m FA Cup bonus if they dump them out of the competition on Saturday.

But Pochettino said: "We are showing we have learned from last season".

"With six games to go we have 71 points". We have improved, that is the reality.

'The team is playing in a good way, exciting football, scoring goals, conceding not too much. That is most important. That's the most hard step to achieve.

"It's a nice sentence to say, "we're ready and we want to win". Nice words. But it's not an easy task. "It's so hard to win trophies", he said.

"When we arrived the main problem for Tottenham was reducing the gap with the top four", Pochettino said.

The English defender, however, has been a starter in only four Premier League matches this year. That is the position we wanted to be in and now we have achieved it.

'To win is more hard.

While Pochettino is clearly keen to downplay expectations and turn up the heat on Antonio Conte and his players, the Argentinian is nonetheless confident in his own side and believes they can be one of the last two teams standing in the cup. They have not won anything, maybe some players have some titles.

"For us it's a final and we need to show that from the first moment". It means something important is going on here. That feeling is good, I like it. It is a big thing that people put Tottenham at the same level as Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal. We are in a completely different project and it makes us proud'. How about Chelsea? Who got snubbed from this list, and who would you replace them with?

There have been few setbacks since for Mauricio Pochettino's men outside of a ropey Europa League effort and they seem to be making a perfectly timed run on the two competitive fronts remaining. "I will tell you after the game", Pochettino said. 'It's true we struggled a bit to get a good result there but we need to make Wembley our home, get that feeling.

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