Chelsea vs Man City
Quite a tasty meeting here at Wembley on Saturday for the first of the weekend’s semi-finals. The newly unstoppable (unless you’re Sam Allardyce) Chelsea vie for a place in the FA Cup final against a side in contention for the fabled quadruple – even if Pep Guardiola will get a face on if you mention it.
Actually, Chelsea did lose their Champions League game against Porto midweek too, but the result was meaningless, the Blues moving forward to the semis. They appear to be formidable opponents under Thomas Tuchel, and yet they are a sizable 2/1 to go through here, or 18/5 for the outright win.
I think those prices could be worth considering, given City have shown at least some vulnerability lately – the loss to Leeds last week. That said, they did beat Dortmund midweek despite going behind early – not a fighting quality that the Manchester side are generally renowned for.
The stats are against Chelsea too; in three encounters at the new Wembley Stadium, City have never lost to the West London side. And when the two both coached in the Bundesliga, Pep and Tuchel tussled five times without the German ever winning a match.
There’s no question that history would appear to be on City’s side. But that West Brom aberration is surely worth discounting; aside from that, Tuchel is unbeaten in the Premier League since his arrival, and his side finally cut loose to score four goals against luckless Crystal Palace last weekend.
Chelsea might be being underestimated here – 2/1 to make it to the final could be worth taking a chance on.
Leicester City vs Southampton
For Sunday’s FA Cup semi we’re struggling to come up with an angle, with little of note occurring during recent encounters between these sides. If only one side had recently battered the other by, I dunno, seven or eight goals, maybe we could mention that. But nothing springs to mind.
Okay, Leicester did beat Southampton 9-0 back in October 2019, but that was 18 months ago! It’s not like under Ralph Hasenhuttl’s management the Saints have made a habit of getting beaten 9-0 in stunningly humiliating fashion etc etc nudge nudge wink wink okay we’ll stop now.
Saints were in fact beaten 9-0 again THIS season, this time by Manchester United – though the story of their season could be that they were top of the league very briefly in November, and have since plummeted – they are currently 14th in the Prem. They’ve lost 11 of their last 14 league games – but a touch bafflingly, they’ve been pretty great in the FA Cup, albeit without facing any one too challenging.
Leicester, by contrast, are having a just generally fine season, though the fans will be concerned to see the side lose both of their last two games in the Prem. In their FA Cup quarter-final they made short work of a somewhat lacklustre Man United; so will they do a job here on Southampton, or can the Saints continue to shine in this competition?
Considering Southampton’s generally iffy performances this year, you have to figure that the Foxes will prove too strong on Sunday. Leicester are 22/25 to win in full time, which seems very doable; Kelechi Iheanacho has been on an almighty tear recently, with nine in his last six games in all competitions, and is a 6/4 shot to score anytime.
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