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Apr 13, 2013

Benitez plans mistake-free FA Cup

Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez has revealed his grand plan to defeat Manchester City in the clubs' semi-final of the FA Cup on Sunday.

• Blog: Chelsea will be happy to face Tottenham's conquerors

Learn from past mistakes.

The Premier League heavyweights are heading into a showdown where the winner will meet the victor of Wigan and Millwall in the final come May.

And Benitez said he was confident his side had a good chance of defeating the reigning Premier League champions after learning a lesson or two from the last time the two sides met, a 2-0 City win back in February.

"They're a good team, in a good position in the table and did well against Manchester United the other day," Benitez said.

"We know it'll be difficult, but it's a semi-final in a massive competition.

"We know what we did wrong against them in the league and we'll make sure we don't make the same mistakes.

"They're a good team, a strong squad. They have a manager (Roberto Mancini) with experience and they have confidence at the moment. We know we'll have to do our best if we want to progress."

And the Spaniard has calmed any fears a packed schedule, including Thursdays loss to Rubin Kazan, has taken the life out of his squad.

However, he did admit the squad will again field a different starting XI as his rotation policy remains in place.

"We've tried to manage our squad and we have players with some fresh legs, " Benitez said.

"Hopefully we will be fine. We have too many games and we have to use the squad. Everyone has to be on their toes but they are doing really well."

However, a possible FA Cup final is not the only chance of silverware on the horizon, with the club being drawn with Basle for the semi-finals of the Europa League.

"Basle is not too far away, so maybe it's not a bad option, only because of that," Benitez said. "They're a good team, an offensive team, and will be dangerous as well. We saw what they did to Tottenham.

"We know there's a great atmosphere in their stadium and they play with intensity. I think it will be interesting."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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