The semi finals of the Emirates FA Cup returns to Wembley Stadium. After last year saw two goal filled semi-finals followed up by a thrilling final in which Arsenal edged out the Premier League champions. Below we briefly preview the two FA Cup Semi Finals.
FA Cup Semifinals Predictions, Previews and Betting Odds
Chelsea vs Southampton
On the surface, the Chelsea semifinal against the Saints seems largely academic; the Blues have won 5 matches consecutively against Southampton, and given the latter’s focus on Premier League survival, it’s unlikely a giant killing will come from this fixture, particularly since it remains Antonio Conte’s last remaining trophy that is available to won in what has been a difficult and less than satisfactory season for Chelsea.
Prediction: Chelsea are likely to have a comfortable win against a struggling Southampton.
Man United vs Spurs
The other semifinal, however, takes a very different complexion; Man United and Spurs record against each other reads like alternating pages of different colours. The two sides last met in cup competition in December 2009’s League Cup quarterfinal at Old Trafford (again a Man United win). Significantly, the semifinal will be held at Wembley Stadium, where Spurs have played much of their home football this season. To add to the prospects of a Spurs win, Man United last beat Spurs “away” from home in 2011/12, and despite Harry Kane’s absence, the “home” side are far less reliant on Kane’s goals (4 of 17 goals by the team in this season’s FA Cup) than Man United are on Lukaku’s output (5 of 10 FA Cup goals by the team). Critically, Kane may be back from injury by the time the match is played as well.
Prediction: Man United’s underfire coach Jose Mourinho will likely feel considerable pressure to deliver silverware and several improvements in performance, playing style and the like. While the Red Devils are doubtless good enough to win, Spurs’ “home advantage”, highly efficient playstyle and versatile, improving squad should be more than good enough to upset the odds and make it an all London affair alongside Chelsea in May’s final.
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