The F.A. Cup Semi-Finals take place on Saturday and Sunday as Chelsea face Manchester City and Leicester City take on Southampton, with both ties at Wembley. Who’ll be making their way to the final and which teams will be cursing their luck at making it so far but no further?
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Let’s take a look at the two games and find you three picks at odds of 5/1 or better to kick off your weekend in profit.
Chelsea to get Two Corners in Each Half (7/1)
While the result between the two richest clubs in England cannot be guaranteed, what is for sure is that neither side will want to lose, especially with there being an outside chance these two meet again at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium to battle for the Champions League trophy in May.
Chelsea come into Saturday night’s semi-final with a measure more energy thanks to having won their semi-final first leg convincingly. That meant they could hold Porto at arm’s length in midweek, while City had to go to Dortmund and perform at their best to survive.
We expect Thomas Tuchel to send his Chelsea team out in a bid to score the first goal and while that may or may not be the right move against a team with such speed of transition as Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, it should lead to some early corners for The Blues. They only need a couple in each half to pay this 7/1 bet off.
Chelsea to win and Both Teams to Score (15/2)
If Chelsea do take an early lead, then expect the game to really open up. Manchester City may have conquered all in the Carabao Cup last year and this, but in the F.A. Cup they came unstuck at this stage last season as Arsenal proved they sometimes have capital calamities.
Chelsea are a tough nut to crack under Tuchel, and West Brom aside, haven’t been beaten by anybody. They’ll give City a real game and while The Blues may eventually be pegged back, early goals in their favour should lead to a very healthy ‘cash out’ option on this bet.
With players such as Timo Werner and Mason Mount (pictured above) likely to feature, Tuchel is going to attack this City team and see if he can get his team ahead. If the German can manage it, then City may find to their cost once more that a London side on the break can be an F.A. Cup nightmare. The quadruple dream hangs in the balance for the Citizens in arguably their biggest threat to that lofty ambition.
Leicester and Southampton to Both to Score, Take 3 Corners and Get 1 Booking (15/2)
In the second semi-final, expect both sides to go at each other as they bid to reach the F.A. Cup final for what would be the fifth time for each club. Unlike Southampton, who beat Manchester United in a shock in 1976 thanks to a Bobby Stokes goal – Leicester have never won the F.A. Cup and have reached the most finals without taking home the trophy in the competition’s history.
All that retrospective indicates is that both teams will be doing absolutely everything they can to prevail. Last week saw both teams concede three goals and lose, so Brendan Rodgers and Ralph Hasenhüttl will be sending out their teams to leave everything on the Wembley turf.
As a result, we can see goals, plenty of corners due to the shooting boots of Danny Ings and Jamie Vardy… and cards. Neither side are afraid to get stuck in and Wembley is a huge pitch to run around for 90 at full pace.
Will Jamie Vardy reach the F.A. Cup final and win possibly his last trophy in English football? Could James Ward-Prowse provide a set piece to light up Wembley Stadium? We can’t wait to find out on Sunday evening.
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May all your bets be live until the final whistle!
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