Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Pellegrini ready to spurn FA Cup chance

19 February 2016, 06:41

London - Managers threatening to play a weakened team in the FA Cup has become a familiar sound in recent seasons and Manuel Pellegrini joined the chorus ahead of Manchester City's fifth-round tie away to Chelsea on Sunday.

At both ends of the Premier League, the financial incentive to either qualify for the Champions League or avoid relegation has led to many managers drawing on their extended squads for FA Cup ties.

In fairness to Pellegrini, who was told at the start of this month that he would be replaced as City manager by Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola at the end of the season, his FA Cup dilemma this weekend is not of his own making.

The BBC, who are broadcasting City's Cup tie, have had their request to get the game moved from Saturday to Sunday accepted by the FA.

That means Pellegrini's men will be in action just a day before they travel to Ukraine ahead of the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against Dynamo Kiev on Wednesday, with City bidding to reach the quarter-finals of Europe's elite club competition for the first time.

That fixture in turn takes place just four days before City face Liverpool in the League Cup final at Wembley a week on Sunday.

Also Read: Pellegrini blasts 'wrong ref, wrong decision'

For Premier League champions Chelsea, a massive 20 points behind shock league leaders Leicester City, the FA Cup represents their best chance of a trophy this term, but Pellegrini may be tempted to rest the likes of Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Joe Hart at Stamford Bridge.

"We have to put Manchester City's interests first," Pellegrini said.

"For me, I must do what I feel is best for the club, to play with the strongest team we can in the Champions League."

Elsewhere, Chelsea defender Gary Cahill backed his side to cope if regular centre-back partner John Terry remains sidelined.

The Blues' skipper missed the 2-1 Champions League defeat by Paris St Germain on Tuesday, a result that ended their 12-match unbeaten run.

But Cahill said he had no problems in lining up with Branislav Ivanovic, who was alongside him in Paris.

"I played with Iva in the Premier League and in the (2013 Europa League) final and was successful, so I don't see it being a problem if John's not available," Cahill told espnfc.com.

'Usually strong Arsenal' 

Arsenal, bidding to become the first club since Blackburn Rovers in the 19th century to win the FA Cup three years in a row, face Hull City on Saturday -- just three days before Spanish giants Barcelona arrive at the Emirates Stadium for a Champions League clash.

However, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said: "The normal squad is involved on Saturday...We'll play a usual strong team."

An FA Cup run would enliven a season that threatens to end in mid-table mediocrity for Everton, whose last major piece of silverware came when they lifted the trophy in 1995.

But with the Toffees six points adrift of fifth-placed Manchester United, Everton manager Roberto Martinez -- the Wigan Athletic boss when they upset the odds to beat Manchester City in the 2013 FA Cup final -- made his priorities clear.

"First of all we need to look at the league," said the Spaniard, whose side go to Bournemouth.

"We're going into the final third of the season. That means 36 points to fight for, and we are not far away from the European places.

"That's what we're going to fight for."

The other all top-flight FA Cup tie this weekend involves two London clubs, with high-flyers Tottenham Hotspur at home to Crystal Palace.

Meanwhile Manchester United will look to bounce back from the embarrassment of a 2-1 defeat by Danish side FC Midtjylland in the first leg of their Europa League last-32 tie -- a result that added to the pressure on manager Louis van Gaal -- when they face third tier Shrewsbury Town on Monday.

FA Cup fifth round fixtures (1500 GMT unless stated)


Arsenal v Hull City (1245 GMT), Bournemouth v Everton (1715 GMT), Reading v West Bromwich Albion, Watford v Leeds United


Blackburn Rovers v West Ham United (1400 GMT), Chelsea v Manchester City (1600 GMT), Tottenham Hotspur v Crystal Palace


Shrewsbury Town v Manchester United (1945 GMT)



Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...