Rudiger talks up FA Cup importance as Chelsea chase down final trophy

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A quarter-final date with Leicester now awaits in the FA Cup, with Germany worldwide defender Rudiger determined to end his debut season in England with tangible reward.

Antonio Conte will not prioritise either the FA Cup or a top-four finish in the Premier League in the final weeks of the season, saying Chelsea have an obligation to fight for both targets. Manager Claude Puel has rotated his squad so far this season, but could be set to name a full strength eleven as they face their toughest opposition so far in this year's competition.

That is a deeply frustrating situation for Conte to find himself in, as he made clear when asked to assess the importance of winning the FA Cup.

Chelsea did manage to sign Alvaro Morata, Antonio Rudiger, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Danny Drinkwater and Davide Zappacosta, though star midfielder Nemanja Matic was controversially sold to United, while star duo Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois continue to be linked with Real Madrid.

Le Saux told Betfair: "Chelsea - another team that needs to win the FA Cup - especially as it seems increasingly like they're still fairly unlikely to qualify for the Champions League".

"We need to give a collective response against this team".

Three of those have been defeats, with their latest seeing them knocked out of the Champions League after losing 3-0 at Barcelona on Wednesday. "A lot of times we compare good season, bad season, if you win something".

Mauricio Pochettino is refusing to get distracted by the clamour for Tottenham to win trophies, insisting the long-term development of the club is more important.

"Last season we did a fantastic job".

The Foxes have lost five matches at the King Power against Chelsea - against no side have they lost more in all competitions (also five against Preston and West Brom). Vicente Iborra, though, has emerged from the dark to put an end to the crisis in the middle of the park, and the team is playing fearless, free-flowing football once again.

They want to go to the next round to try to write the history of this competition.
We will see. I don't know. We can do better in every aspect.

Carlos Carvalhal is more concerned with keeping Swans up than winning an FA Cup, but he's certainly not going to betray his club's momentum by giving less than his best against Spurs.