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Derby day

The draw for the FA Cup semi-finals has thrown up a Wembley Manchester derby, and offered Manchester City the chance to get one over on their rivals, as well as show them just how far they’ve come as a team in the last few years.

The clash will look to many to be the de facto final, as whoever wins the derby will be a massive favourite to beat either Stoke City or Bolton Wanderers in May. For Stoke it’s a great opportunity to make their first ever appearance at an FA Cup final, and beyond that the possibility to win the Cup for the first time in their history. However for Manchester City it could be as stepping stone to much bigger things, as well as a first trophy for over three decades.

‘For us it's important to improve,’ said City boss Roberto Mancini. ‘We have improved a lot in the last year. We are a good team and when we lose games we've played as a team and this is important. You can only improve if, when you lose, you understand what mistakes you have made. Manchester City is now very close to this club (United).

‘You're always relieved. Three days ago we had a hard match (against Dynamo Kiev) and this was another hard match. This is normal when we play every three days and we have four or five players injured; it's very hard. But for today I'm very happy for the supporters because they deserve to go to Wembley for this game.’

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