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FA Cup - Football: Blues hoping for quick response

Chelsea cannot afford to dwell on their Champions League exit in Madrid as they return to action in Sunday's FA Cup semi-final against Crystal Palace.

The Wembley semi-final (16:30 KO) will be a test of Thomas Tuchel's powers of motivation, as he and his players aim to bounce back from Tuesday's dramatic quarter-final second leg against Real Madrid, and you can catch the action on our Sports Live Streaming hub.

The Blues had to go on the offensive at the Bernabeu, having lost the first leg 3-1 at Stamford Bridge, and their bold approach almost paid off as goals from Mason Mount, Antonio Rudiger and Timo Werner put them 4-3 up on aggregate before Real hit back to seal the tie in extra-time.

Quick reaction required

Chelsea are 3/5 to bounce back to winning ways at Wembley on Sunday, while Palace are priced at 19/4 and the draw is priced at 3/1.

It may seem harsh to question the consistency of Tuchel's side given that they have won six of their last seven Premier League matches, five of them to nil, hammering Southampton 6-0 at St Mary's last weekend.

However, before the trip to the south coast their defence had been exposed in the home leg against Real, in which Karim Benzema completed his hat-trick just after half-time, and a shock 4-1 defeat to Brentford at Stamford Bridge.

That will encourage Palace manager Patrick Vieira, whose side competed well in February's Premier League meeting with Chelsea before conceding an 89th-minute winner to Hakim Ziyech.

Wilfried Zaha and Michael Olise, who is expected to return from a foot injury, caused problems for the Blues' defence that day and Palace have enjoyed some success against the top clubs this season.

They beat Manchester City 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium before holding the champions to a goalless draw in last month's reverse fixture and they followed up their 4-0 cup quarter-final rout of Everton with an impressive 3-0 league win over top-four hopefuls Arsenal.

Eagles must cope without loan star Gallagher

The cup semi-final draw was a cruel one for Crystal Palace midfielder Conor Gallagher as the Chelsea loanee is ineligible to play against his parent club at Wembley.

Gallagher has been a key player for the Eagles this season, contributing eight goals and three assists in 27 Premier League appearances and unsettling opponents with his tireless pressing in midfield.

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The experienced James McArthur, an FA Cup winner with Wigan in 2013, is likely to deputise for the England international, as he did in February's league game against Chelsea.

The 34-year-old can expect a busy afternoon in the engine-room up against the likes of N'Golo Kante and Jorginho and he is 10/3 to be booked in the semi-final.

Blues striker hoping to make an impact

Romelu Lukaku missed Chelsea's Champions League trip to Madrid with an Achilles problem but the Belgian striker is hoping to return to the squad on Sunday.

Lukaku has scored in three of Chelsea's four FA Cup ties this season, against Chesterfield, Luton and Middlesbrough, and is 4/1 to break the deadlock against Palace while in-form Mason Mount is 11/2 in the first goalscorer market.

The Eagles' defenders kept Lukaku quiet in their last meeting at Selhurst Park, however, as the striker had just seven touches of the ball – the fewest ever recorded by someone playing the full 90 minutes of a Premier League game.

Celtic aim to bring Europa heroes down to earth

As well as the Chelsea-Palace tie at Wembley, Sunday's cup action also features a mouth-watering Scotland FA Cup semi-final between Celtic and Rangers (14:00 KO).

Like Chelsea, the Gers were involved in a European thriller this week as they booked their place in the Europa League semi-finals thanks to Thursday's 3-1 extra-time win over Braga at Ibrox.

Celtic have had the better of their recent domestic exchanges, winning 3-0 and 2-1 in the two Old Firm derbies since the turn of the year to take a six-point lead in the Scottish Premiership title race.

The Hoops are 21/20 to extend that run with victory in 90 minutes over 9/4 Rangers and fast starts have been a feature of Celtic's excellent recent form.

All five of their goals in their last two fixtures against the Gers came in the first half and, bearing in mind Rangers' extra-time exertions on Thursday night, the Celtic/Celtic half-time/full-time result is worth considering at 12/5.

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