Manchester United have been drawn to face Tottenham Hotspur in the semi-final of this season’s FA Cup. In the other tie set to be played over the weekend of April 21 and 22, Chelsea, last season’s losing finalists, will face Southampton.
After overcoming Brighton 2-0 in Saturday evening’s quarter-final, Jose Mourinho’s team will meet Mauricio Pochettino’s side at their temporary Wembley home. Spurs earlier overcame Swansea in a 3–0 victory on Saturday lunchtime. The clubs’ previous meeting came on January 31 at Wembley when Tottenham breezed to a 2-0 victory.
A leading question ahead of that summit meeting will be the fitness of Harry Kane, who suffered an ankle injury last week at Bournemouth but is scheduled to return two weeks ahead of the semi-final, the same weekend of April 7 that Manchester United’s Premier League match with Manchester City is expected to serve as a potential title coronation for Pep Guardiola’s runaway leaders.
Mark Hughes’ Southampton beat Wigan 1-0 on Sunday after goals from Cédric Soares and Pierre-Emile Højbjerg on Sunday to progress to Wembley, in the Welshman’s first match in charge since taking over the position left vacant after Mauricio Pellegrino’s sacking. Hughes must now turn his attention to leading the South Coast club out of the Premier League relegation battle, having inherited a team lying 18th in the table.
Hughes was an FA Cup winner as a Chelsea player in 1997, and his former club are in a dogfight of their own, having dropped off the pace in the chase for a top four place. Going into next week’s international break, they lie five points behind fourth-placed Tottenham. Antonio Conte’s team departed this season’s Champions League at the hands of Barcelona on Wednesday.
Chelsea won their quarter-final 2-1 at Leicester on Sunday after extra-time, Pedro scoring the 105th minute winner after Jamie Vardy had cancelled out Alvaro Morata’s opening goal. Under-fire Conte is desperately seeking silverware after this season’s poor title defence and is still yet to win a cup competition in his coaching career.