FA Cup semifinal fixtures confirmed


LONDON — Manchester City will open the FA Cup semifinal weekend on April 6 against Brighton & Hove Albion after England’s Football Association announced Tuesday the schedule for the two fixtures at Wembley Stadium.

City, which is chasing a quadruple of trophies, will take on Brighton in the first semifinal on the Saturday at 1730 GMT while Watford face Wolverhampton Wanderers a day later for a 1600 kickoff.

The FA said each club will be allocated approximately 33,000 tickets for their fans and tickets are priced in the range of 30 pounds ($39.83) to 80 pounds.

The final is scheduled for May 18.

Pochettino picks Bara

as favorite for Champions

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has said Barcelona will have the edge in its much-anticipated Champions League quarterfinal against Manchester United and has backed the Spanish club to lift the title for a sixth time.

United has rediscovered its verve under interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who took over from Jose Mourinho in December, and has guided the club to 14 wins in 19 games.

Pochettino, however, feels United still has a lot of work to do to compete with Barcelona, which is 10 points clear at the top of the La Liga standings.

“If there is one favorite team to win Champions League it is Barcelona,” former Espanyol boss Pochettino told reporters.

“(Ernesto) Valverde is doing a great job. They have players of extraordinary level, and then they have Lionel Messi.

“I think the Manchester United team that has been built during the past few years was built to win big things. But I think Barcelona are one step higher than Manchester United.”

Spurs will face domestic rival Manchester City in the quarterfinals, with Pochettino indicating Pep Guardiola’s reigning English champion is built to win Europe’s elite trophy.

“It is clear that Manchester City are a team designed to win and with an obligation to win,” he added.

“We will try to compete. We know that in short tournaments the fitness of the team at the time is very important. We have the incentive that we have a new stadium and we will play with 62,000 spectators. That will create a special energy.”

Tottenham will complete the move to their new 62,000-seater stadium before they host City on April 9. — Agencies