HAPPY Valley have installed themselves as favourites to win Hong Kong football's last big prize of the season - the Esso FA Cup. Valley, who have not won any of the four major domestic trophies since they lifted the Challenge Shield in season 1989-90, take on Kitchee in the second semi-final of a double-header at the Hong Kong Stadium tomorrow. The first semi-final will be between the surprise guys from Kui Tan and the FA Cup-holders and league champions Eastern. But at a news conference involving representatives from the four semi-finalists at the Hong Kong FA headquarters in Ho Man Tin yesterday, Valley insisted they were the team to beat. Club chairman Nick Lee said: ''We have not lost to any of the other three sides all season and we feel we are good enough to keep that record and win the FA Cup. ''Any team that reaches a semi-final must have a good chance of winning the Cup but none of the others have beaten Happy Valley this season. This is why we are so confident.'' Happy Valley finished sixth in the 10-team First Division, with their six league defeats coming against Instant-Dict (twice), South China (twice), Sing Tao and Rangers. And Sing Tao eliminated them from both previous knockout tournaments - the Challenge Shield and Viceroy Cup. Valley showed they meant business in the FA Cup with a 3-0 demolition of their traditional rivals, South China, in a quarter-final tie at Mongkok Stadium last Sunday. And their reputation as a footballing side has won them many admirers this season. After scoring the only goal of the game to beat Instant-Dict in Thursday's quarter-final tie at Mongkok Stadium, Kitchee striker Lee Bullen admitted: ''Happy Valley are the best side I have played against this season and I would honestly prefer to meet Eastern in the semi-final.'' And when the draw was made for the competition, top seeds Eastern had the choice of entering the top half or the bottom half - and chose the top half to avoid Happy Valley, the only team to have beaten the champions in the league this season. Kitchee forward Bullen will be relieved to know that Valley will be without their strong and skilful mainland centre-half, Wang Dongning, for tomorrow's semi-final. He returned home to Shandong province after the South China game to play in the new professional league in China and his place in the centre of defence is expected to be taken by Alan Reis. Eastern team manager Peter Leung said the club had made ''verbal agreements'' with four of their overseas contingent for next season - goalkeeper Iain Hesford, midfielder Tim O'Shea, left-winger Ross Greer and striker Dale Tempest. Injured striker Paul Nixon, who has returned home to New Zealand for the summer, was already under contract for next season. Leung added that striker Tony Sealy would be allowed to leave the club and that the future of Liverpool-born Brian Hayes, who has been used as a man-marker, was still uncertain. ''We will wait a couple more matches before deciding if Brian Hayes will be offered a contract as our sixth foreign player next season,'' said Leung. As for their semi-final against Kui Tan, Leung dismissed any chance of an upset result. ''We have been training hard for the FA Cup at the Hong Kong Sports Institute - not just for the semi-final but also for the final. ''Kui Tan are very lucky to be in the semi-finals and this is as far as they are going,'' said Leung. Kui Tan boss Raymond Ng Wai-man said: ''We have been written off by everyone, but our fitness and power could surprise Eastern.''