Chelsea still favourites for Cup semi-final - Pochettino

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Pochettino's team are on a scintillating run of form ahead of their meeting with the Premier League leaders, having won eight games in a row, scoring 28 goals and conceding just four as they've cut the gap to Chelsea to just four points.

Mauricio Pochettino launched the FA Cup mind games by turning up the pressure on Chelsea and hailing them favourites. Spurs, he said, had achieved many things under his charge, namely establishing themselves as title contenders, but the biggest step to take was the one to winning a trophy.

"Arsenal, maybe. For Saturday, no", Pochettino said.

The former England global also said that Chelsea has given him a platform to compete against the best and break records, when he became the Blues' most decorated player with 14 major honours, including one Champions League trophy, four Premier League titles, one Europa League, five FA Cups and three League Cups.

"We are talking about a team that has won a European competition, has a manager that won the league with Juventus in Italy".

That support suggests the team that has been the best in England for 4/5ths of the season will bounce back with gusto following a 2-0 defeat last weekend against Manchester United. But we are in a good moment too.

A terrible run of one point from six games has Swansea sitting 18th in the table, two points adrift of safety with five matches left to play as they prepare for the visit of 11th-placed Stoke. We must feel the happiness.

During that time he won four Premier League titles, five FA Cups, three League Cups, the Champions League and the Europa League. They were disappointed after Watford, but we spoke about how we can do better and the last couple of days have been very positive.

"I remember three years ago when we signed here I remember the first few press conferences and I was asked how we can reduce the gap to the top four", he said.

"After almost three years, we have not only reduced the gap to the top four, we're fighting to win the Premier League and to win some titles". But 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.

"We have improved a lot". First, you have to be there to challenge, and we have that opportunity. We have improved, that's a reality.

Third-place Liverpool hosts Palace seeking a win to move five points clear of City, although Liverpool will have played two more games. Now it is the moment to translate those stats and the feeling we have; to show that we've grown up. That's the most hard step to achieve.



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