• FA Cup

Di Matteo turns to FA to ease Chelsea's fixture pile-up

ESPN staff
March 27, 2012
Roberto Di Matteo is trying to manage Chelsea's hectic fixture list © PA Photos

Chelsea interim manager Roberto Di Matteo has revealed the club are locked in talks with the FA over trying to change their FA Cup semi-final in order to help the Blues' Champions League bid.

Should Chelsea overcome Benfica in the last eight of the Champions League, a European semi-final will be the reward on April 22.

However, Chelsea are in the last four of the FA Cup and are scheduled to meet either Tottenham or Bolton only three days before, on Sunday, April 19. Victory over Benfica could come at a price - it would mean Chelsea facing nine matches in 31 days - and Di Matteo is hopeful the FA will comply and switch the FA Cup clash to a Friday night.

"We absolutely need more assistance over our fixtures as the schedule here does not help English teams in Europe," he told the Sun.

"We're engaged with the FA but ultimately someone has to make the call."

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