Chelsea consider lobbying for FA Cup semi-final date switch


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The Independent Football

Chelsea are unlikely to get their FA Cup semi-final brought forward by 48 hours should they reach the Champions League semi-finals, Press Association Sport understands.

The Blues are considering lobbying for their last four cup clash to be played on Friday, April 13 in order to give them more time to prepare for what could be the first leg of a European tie against Barcelona or AC Milan.

Chelsea's FA Cup semi-final is currently scheduled just three days before that potential Champions League home clash.

But the Football Association are unlikely to deviate from what has become a traditional Saturday-Sunday split for their cup semi-finals, while any change could also be vetoed by the Metropolitan Police.

Liverpool will feature in the other last-four FA Cup match on April 14 because they are allowed not to play on the anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster.

Chelsea, who face Benfica in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final this evening, feel a special exception should also be made for them to play on the Friday night to help them in their quest for European glory.

Caretaker manager Roberto Di Matteo said: "I feel we should get more help from the FA over fixtures.

"Absolutely we need it because it doesn't help English teams in the Champions League.

"Benfica played Friday night before our game, so did Napoli before both matches in the last round.

"Their leagues try to give them a lot of help and the best possible advantage.

"We are engaged on this matter but, ultimately, someone has to make the decision."