Posted: Monday May 6, 2013 5:52 AM

Benitez close to completing brief at Chelsea

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MANCHESTER, England (AP) -Rafa Benitez can virtually wrap up part one of his mission at Chelsea by guiding the team to the cusp of the Champions League with a win over top-four rival Tottenham in the Premier League on Wednesday.

The Spaniard is still unloved at Stamford Bridge but even the most ardent critic of Benitez must be impressed with the job he's done in his six months at the club.

By reaching the Europa League final, Benitez is close to winning the trophy he so craves to mark his brief spell at Chelsea. And beating Spurs would all but secure a return to Europe's top competition, which was the club's priority this season.

At the other end, perennial escapologist Wigan can move out of the relegation zone by beating Swansea on Tuesday.
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