Brentford v Chelsea - FA Cup 4th Rd
SUNDAY'S FA Cup tie with Brentford will be gratefully seized upon by Chelsea players eager to get over the disappointment of losing their midweek League Cup semi-final, says Rafael Benitez.
The Blues were left to rue the mistakes from the first leg as they returned to west London empty handed, having failed to recover a 2-0 deficit and with the unwanted controversy surrounding Eden Hazard's altercation with a Swansea City ball-boy.
But interim boss Benitez sees salvation in the next fixture.
“Everybody's really disappointed, because it was an opportunity to be in a final, “ Benitez said.
“We were playing well, scoring goals and not conceding goals, and we were doing the right things. But it's an opportunity that we have lost.
“We play one game each three days, that is really bad. But when you lose, it really good because you have another game in three days.
“It's a good thing now that we have another competition, another challenge, and we can forget quickly and move forward quickly. We try to win every game and the FA Cup is our next target.
Redemption may not be that straightforward, though, with Benitez conscious of what the game means to the hosts – and how difficult they will try to make it for their Premier League neighbours.
He says he has researched Uwe Rosler's team.
“Just in case, I have seen some clips and also have some notes,” Benitez said.
“To be fair, I have seen some games and was I talking with the scouts, so we know that they are doing well and it will be a tough game.
“Obviously, it's a massive game for them and they will be pushing. They can play in a different way. They can play long and try to win second balls, so it's quite an interesting team.
“It will be different from the derby against QPR, because we will play away, and it's a cup competition, so our approach has to be different. The pitch is not the best, so it's totally different, but it will be a massive motivation for them.”