FA Cup Live: Mark Hughes has admitted Southampton’s Premier League survival battle will be in the back of his mind during this Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final with Chelsea.
The Saints go to Wembley to take on Antonio Conte’s hoping to reach a first FA Cup final since 2003, but they are teetering near a drop to the Championship as they sit four points from safety with four games left.
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FA Cup Live Stream Semifinal
The FA Cup semi-final has traditionally been one of the most important fixtures in the football calendar but Hughes says their league predicament will be with him at Wembley.
“If I am honest it will be,” he said. “The day itself is something we can enjoy and we have to make the most of this opportunity. It’s not every season you get the opportunity to get to a major cup final.
“It’s the greatest cup competition in the world in my view. In some people’s minds maybe the competition has been diminished since the emergence of the Champions League and Premier League, but to be involved in major cup finals is where you make your mark in the game and it’s where you need to be.
Johnstone, 25, has never made a first-team appearance for the Red Devils, but he has caught the eye while playing on loan at Aston Villa in the Championship.
Spurs are one of the admirers of Johnstone, who is set to be out-of-contract at the end of the season, and they are considering offering him the role of understudy to Hugo Lloris.
There is a fear Michel Vorm, Tottenham’s current back-up glovesman, will leave the north Londoners this summer as he too will become a free agent, and he hopes to secure a move elsewhere to guarantee first-team football.
And The Sun say Johnstone has been earmarked as Vorm’s replacement
“It’s an opportunity to get to a major final and we are going there to make sure we don’t let it pass by.”
Both the Saints and Chelsea were in action on Thursday night and they meet again only eight days after Conte’s side came from 2-0 down to win 3-2 in the league at St Mary’s.
Chelsea are clear favourites for the game but Hughes wants his side to produce something that can build some momentum in their fight against the drop.
“Chelsea’s priorities revolve around winning the FA Cup because that is where they are,” he said. “We go in as underdogs but we shouldn’t be fazed by that. It is an opportunity to make a statement of intent. We have been playing better in my view in the last few weeks.
“Our performance at Leicester [a 0-0 draw on Thursday evening] wasn’t quite at the level we have produced in recent weeks. We are trying to build momentum and to win an FA Cup semi-final to increase the momentum would be great going into the Bournemouth game [on April 28). For the most part we were the better side against Chelsea and for eight minutes we weren’t able to clear our heads and they had the quality to come though.
“We were unlucky, it has to be said. That luck that you need wasn’t there, but it was a good performance against a very good team and we can feed off that.”
Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur face off in the semifinal of the FA Cup on Saturday.
FA Cup is the only chance for both teams to end the season with a trophy.
It was Spurs who secured victory when these two teams last met in February in the Premier League, with Mauricio Pochettino’s recording a comfortable 2-0 win.
With the Premier League already being decided in Manchester City’s favour, both United and Spurs will want to make the FA Cup count.
United are currently in second place on the Premier League table with four matches remaining and have all but secured their place in next season’s UEFA Champions League.
Spurs are in fourth place and have a five-point lead over Chelsea in the race for the last Champions League spot.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Manchester United v/s Tottenham Hotspur FA Cup semifinal:
What time does Manchester United v/s Tottenham Hotspur FA Cup semifinal start?
Manchester United v/s Tottenham Hotspur FA Cup semifinal starts at 9.45 PM IST on Saturday.
Where is the Manchester United v/s Tottenham Hotspur FA Cup semifinal being played?
The Manchester United v/s Tottenham Hotspur FA Cup semifinal match is being played at Wembley Stadium, London.
Where to watch Manchester United v/s Tottenham Hotspur FA Cup semifinal on TV?
Manchester United v/s Tottenham Hotspur FA Cup semifinal will be aired live on Sony Ten Network.
Where to watch Manchester United v/s Tottenham Hotspur FA Cup semifinal live streaming online?
Catch Manchester United v/s Tottenham Hotspur FA Cup semifinal live streaming on SonyLiv.com and SonyLIV app.