This weekend sees four of the top teams in the Premier League meeting at Wembley Stadium to contest the FA Cup semifinals. Arsenal will take on Manchester City, while on Sunday, Manchester United and Chelsea meet for the third season in a row in a domestic cup competition to decide who will go forward to contest the final in a couple of weeks’ time.
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Let’s now take a closer look at the two big FA Cup Semifinal ties that are going to be played at Wembley this weekend, one on Saturday evening, the other Sunday evening to decide who will contest the final a couple of weeks from now.
FA Cup Semifinals Preview
Saturday 18th July 2020
Arsenal v Manchester City (7.45pm)
Factfile for both teams
- Arsenal are 9th in the Premier League with 50 points from 35 games.
- Man City are 2nd in the Premier League with 72 points from 35 games.
- City have scored 91 goals in those games, Arsenal managing just 51.
- City have conceded 34 goals in those games, Arsenal conceding 44.
- The teams have met 198 times, Arsenal winning 96, City winning 57 with 45 draws.
- However, City have won all of the last seven between the teams, and eight of the last 11 matches between them in all competitions. Arsenal’s only victory in that period was a 2-1 (aet) FA Cup Semifinal win in April 2017.
- City have beat Arsenal 3-0 both home and away in the Premier League this season.
- City will have Sergio Aguero absent through injury, while Arsenal have Pablo Mari, Jay Leno, Gabriel Martinelli and Mesut Ozil out, while Eddie Nketiah will serve a suspension.
The Road to Wembley
Arsenal Road to Wembley
- 3rd Round – v Leeds United (H) – W 1-0 (Nelson 55)
- 4th Round – v Bournemouth (A) – W 2-1 (Saka 5, Nketiah 26)
- 5th Round – v Portsmouth (A) – W 2-0 (Papasthatopoulos 45, Nketiah 51)
- Quarterfinals – v Sheff Utd (A) – W 2-1 (Pepe 25 (pen), Ceballos 90)
Manchester City Road to Wembley
- 3rd Round – v Port Vale (H) – W 4-1 (Zinchenko 19, Aguero 4, Harwood-Bellis 58, Foden 76)
- 4th Round – v Fulham (H) – W 4-0 (Gundogan 8 (pen), Silva.B 19, Jesus 72,75)
- 5th Round – v Sheff Wed (A) – W 1-0 (Aguero 53)
- Quarterfinals – v Newcastle Utd (A) – W 2-0 (De Bruyne 37, Sterling 68)
Arsenal v Manchester City Predictions and Tips
Given Arsenal’s form against Manchester City, allied to City’s form in general since the season restarted, and you have to say that the Gunners, despite their excellent FA Cup performances over the years, are the huge underdogs here. They may point to City’s poorer away form as hope for a shock win, but in these types of games City’s top players come to the fore.
I can’t see City having too many problems in this one, even with Sergio Aguero absent from the team. Guardiola has so many options open to him in every position he could put out two teams of different players that could win this game comfortably even against Arsenal’s strongest XI.
As such, I’d back Manchester City to win and I’d also go for a correct score of a 3-1 win for City on the day. If pushed to pick a goalscorer to score at any time, I’d go for the in form Raheem Sterling, who has a good record for City at Wembley in recent times.
Sunday 19th July 2020
Manchester United v Chelsea (6pm)
Factfile for both teams
- Chelsea lie 3rd in the Premier League on 60 points, one ahead of Man Utd who are 5th on 59 points, both having played 35 games.
- Chelsea have scored 63 goals in the EPL this season, two more than Man Utd’s 61.
- Chelsea have conceded more goals, 49 in the EPL than the 35 conceded by United.
- The teams have met 186 times in total. United winning 81 to Chelsea’s 54, with 51 matches finishing in a draw.
- Chelsea have beaten United just once in their last eight games, losing five, but that win did come in an FA Cup Final in 2018 (a 1-0 victory for Chelsea at Wembley).
- United did the double over Chelsea in the EPL this season, winning 4-0 at home and also 2-0 away. They also beat Chelsea 2-1 at Stamford Bridge in the League Cup and knocked Chelsea out of the FA Cup last season with a 2-0 win also at Stamford Bridge.
- Man Utd have injury concerns at left back with both Luke Shaw and his replacement Brandon Williams real doubts for the game. Chelsea youngster Billy Gilmour is their main doubt for this game.
The Road to Wembley
Manchester United Road to Wembley
- 3rd Round – v Wolves (A) – D 0-0
- 3rd Round Replay – v Wolves (H) – W 1-0 (Mata 67)
- 4th Round – v Tranmere R (A) – W 6-0 (Maguire 10, Dalot 13, Lingard 16, Jones 41, Martial 45, Greenwood 56 (pen))
- 5th Round – v Derby County (A) – W 3-0 (Shaw 33, Ighalo 41,70)
- Quarterfinals – v Norwich (A) – W 2-1 aet (Ighalo 51, Maguire 118)
Chelsea Road to Wembley
- 3rd Round – v Nottingham Forest (H) – W 2-0 (Hudson Odoi 6, Barkley 33)
- 4th Round – v Hull City (A) – W 2-1 (Batshuayi 6, Tomori 64)
- 5th Round – v Liverpool (H) – W 2-0 (William 13, Barkley 64)
- Quarterfinals – v Leicester (A) – W 1-0 (Barkley 63)
Man Utd v Chelsea Predictions and Tips
Manchester United have the beating of Chelsea at the moment and in general, their form since the restart has been much better than Frank Lampard’s team. However, Chelsea will point to their FA Cup Final win over Manchester United a few years back as proof that on the big days at Wembley, they can come out on top.
Of the two semifinals, this is the one that I feel will be the more closely fought. I think the teams, as their league records show, are very well matched and have many similarities, using a number of young players alongside their more expensive signings well.
However, I still feel that despite a draw at Southampton, United’s form is markedly better than Chelsea at the moment and the fact that they have also beaten the Blues in all their encounters this season means they are my pick here. Take Man Utd to win by a 2-1 scoreline and the in form Anthony Martial to grab a goal.