For most teams a trip to Wembley is the highlight of the footballing calendar, and for players it is the highlight of a career. For Tottenham, though, the national stadium is a source of dread.
Before they made Wembley their home for European nights this season while building work continues on the new White Hart Lane, there were warnings from Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger from his experience of playing there:
"It was a nightmare. In hindsight, it was the wrong decision," Wenger said in January last year. "We decided to go to Wembley but we didn't feel at home. The pitch was bigger, the ground was different and for the English players it was something completely unusual.
"We were used to a tight pitch. It was a disadvantage for sure."
Lo and behold, Spurs ran into the very same problems that Arsenal experienced when they played their Champions League games at home between 1998 and 2000, when they failed to get past the group stage for two consecutive seasons.
Tottenham's return to the Champions League this season was disastrous, but given their previous record at Wembley coupled with Wenger's words of warning, that should hardly have come as too great a surprise. After crashing out of a group many had expected them to win, they failed to make it past Gent in the Europa League, too.
Since Wembley was reopened in early 2007, Tottenham have had truly awful time there, winning only twice in nine visits: a 3-1 win over CSKA Moscow in December that secured an ultimately fruitless place in the Europa League knockout stages this season and the 2008 League Cup final victory over Chelsea - but even that came after extra time and via a fortunate Jonathan Woodgate winner.
In between those victories, Spurs lost six games in a row at England's national stadium.
But why exactly is it that a team as skilled, fluid and effective as Mauricio Pochettino's crumble at Wembley?
One contributing factor is the size of the Wembley pitch; as Wenger highlighted last year. It measures 105 by 69 metres, or 7,245 square metres. That is the same size as the second biggest pitch in the Premier League. Tottenham's White Hart Lane pitch is the second smallest, at 6,700 square metres.
That might seem like a difference that a professional football team should be able to overcome, but Tottenham's game is based on their pressing high up the pitch, forcing opponents into corners by closing down space before they have a chance to play. Once possession is gained high up the pitch, Spurs swiftly switch into attack mode, piling men forward. On a bigger pitch this tactic is harder to implement.
So the difference of a few metres in each direction is felt even more starkly by Tottenham, particularly when combined with the poor quality Wembley pitch.
England matches there are painfully slow, with attacking moves laboured and criticism relentless afterwards, but the pace at which the ball ran in Spurs's matches there showed it is not by any means the fault of the players. Tottenham attack at speed in such a way that they need a slick surface to accommodate their play, and their game suffers more than most at the hands of the Wembley pitch.
Furthermore, Tottenham's team, boasting its fair share of young English players, may find the prospect of playing at Wembley more daunting than most, though that should in theory become less of an issue with each game they play there.
Chelsea, Spurs' opponents this weekend, have had no such problems at the national stadium: their record there reads nine wins and five losses in 14 visits. Three of those defeats came in the only half-competitive Community Shield, while their victories have brought five major trophies and include a 5-1 thrashing of Tottenham in 2012.
Despite the 'wobble' they are experiencing that led Antonio Conte to declare the title race "50-50", Chelsea will head into Saturday's semi-final the more confident of the sides.
The stadium has provided little joy for Tottenham over the years, and with a decision to be made next week over whether their home games will be played there next season, their next match would be a very good time indeed to put an emphatic end to their Wembley hoodoo. History suggests Spurs will be up against it.