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Two Giants Go Head-To-Head in the FA Cup

Last updated: April 14, 2021 by Leon Marshal

Game details

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Kick-off: Saturday, 17:30
Venue: Wembley Stadium
Coverage: BBC 1
Home Form: WLWWL
Away Form: WWWWL
Last Meeting: Chelsea 1 – 3 Man City
Competition: FA Cup Semi-Finals

Manchester City have their eyes on four trophies this season, and with one hand on the Premier League trophy, they now turn their attention to the FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea. The Blues are much improved under Thomas Tuchel and have one of the best defences in the league. It should be an intriguing encounter.

Chelsea has lost four of the last five FA Cup ties against Manchester City. They won the most recent encounter in the competition, 5 – 1, back in February 2016. In the last match they played against each other at this stage, Man City won 2 – 1 back in 2013. The defeat stands out as the sole semi-finals defeat in the eight they have played, winning all the other seven. The Blues will hope to reach the FA Cup finals for the fifteenth time, a fate bettered by only Manchester United (20) and Arsenal (21).

Mason Mount has been in the centre of everything the team does going forward. He scored the first goal in their first leg encounter against FC Porto in classic fashion to marshal his side to a 2 – 0 first-leg win to qualify by a 2 – 1 aggregate. He notched an assist in the recent 4 – 1 win against Crystal Palace in a match that Kai Havertz showed his worth for the huge amount of money money that Chelsea paid for him with a goal and an assist. The England international has provided all his four assists that have been finished by headed goals from set-piece situations.

Kurt Zouma has been the biggest beneficiary, scoring three of the four. Zouma has five goals as the highest-scoring defender from nineteen games, managing the same number of goals that he has previously scored over 141 league games for Chelsea, Stoke, and Everton combined. The set-piece threat could be advantageous for Chelsea in a game where a single goal can be the difference. Giroud was made for such games and has proven that he can perform on the big stage over time. The 34-year-old scored the winner in a 1-0 away win against Atletico Madrid. Goals are a worry for Chelsea; they lack an outright goalscorer; three players share the top-scorer position at the club Jorginho, Mount and Tammy Abraham but a tally of six goals is a low number compared to other clubs. Abraham seems to have fallen out of favour at the club, with the manager recently preferring Kai Havertz, who has scored just two goals in the league all season.

Thomas Tuchel uses an over defensive 3-4-3 strategy and a 5-2-3 formation with seven defending and just three attacking players. These tactics paid dividends, and the club went fourteen games unbeaten, keeping twelve clean sheets and conceding just two before the international break. A big positive from their most recent league game, a 4-1 win at Crystal Palace, was that it was the first time they scored four goals in a single match. They now face a side that they would have to outscore to progress and need to muster an attacking danger while keeping their defensive shape.

Man City have won six of the last nine meetings with Chelsea in all competitions (one draw, two defeats), beating them 3 – 1 at Stamford Bridge. Wembley Stadium has been a fortress for Man City, winning the last three. They won through penalties in the 2019 League Cup final, beat Chelsea 2-1 in the FA Cup semi-final, and claimed a 2 – 0 triumph in the 2018 Community Shield. The Citizens have won nine of the last eleven FA Cup semi-finals, with their decorated manager Pep Guardiola eliminated at this stage twice by Arsenal in 2017 and 2020.

The quadruple quest could be a blessing or a curse for City with the fixture congestion that comes with fighting on four fronts. They are used to winning, though and famously won a domestic clean-sweep in 2018, winning the league, EFL and FA Cup. They have the squad depth to conquer all four with Sergio Agüero back to full health, and it would be a fitting tribute to the City legend if he played a part in a trophy or two. The 32-year-old is leaving City at the end of the season; ironically, Chelsea is rumoured to be interested in the player.

City has an eleven point gap in the league and, bar a spectacular collapse will be lifting their third title in four years. They are already in the final of the Carabao Cup and will be facing local rivals Tottenham. Tonight they play their quarter-final second leg against Borussia Dortmund, who they lead 2-1 from the first leg. They are unlikely to think that game is a foregone conclusion, though; fans are well aware that they have been knocked out of the Champions League at the quarter-finals stage for the past three seasons. If they do win, a tasty game against PSG awaits and possibly Chelsea in the final.

A shocking defeat to ten men Leeds United at the weekend has shown weaknesses in a side that has been flawless for most of the season. However, the freaky nature of the defeat won’t be lost on Pep Guardiola, the Yorkshire club was totally dominated by City, and Leeds scored two goals with their only two shots on goal, the second of which was scored deep in added time.


Team News

Chelsea will be full of belief, having qualified to the last four of the Champions League, and have their one hand on two trophies in their quest for silverware.

Mason Mount has seen all his four assists finished by headed goals from set-piece situations, with three scored by Kurt Zouma, who could be an auxiliary source of goals.

Man City legend and record goalscorer Sergio Aguero who is rumoured to be a transfer target for Chelsea, is doubtful.

The Citizens have won the last three games against Chelsea at Wembley stadium and would be the outright favourites in a quadruple quest.


Expected Line-Ups:

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Chelsea (3-4-2-1): Mendy, James, Silva, Rudiger, Chilwell, Kante, Jorginho, Mount, Ziyech, Abraham, Werner
Subs: Arrizabalaga, Giroud, Hudson-Odoi, Emerson, Tomori, Kovacic, Christensen, Azpilicueta, Pulisic
Injured:
Doubtful:
Not available:
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Man City (3-2-3-2): Ederson, Walker, Stones, Dias, Laporte, Mendy, Rodri, Gundogan, De Bruyne, Sterling, Gabriel.J, Aguero
Subs: Steffen, Zinchenko, B. Silva, Foden, Garcia, Barnaba, Mahrez, Fernandinho, Cancelo
Injured: Ake
Doubtful: Aguero
Not available:

So Far This Season

. . .
Chelsea This Season Man City This Season
5th League Position 1st
15 (8) Wins (away) 23 (11)
4 – 0 v Palace Biggest Win 5 – 0 v Burnley
9 (4) Draws (away) 5 (3)
2 – 5 v West Brom Biggest Defeat 2 – 5 v Foxes
Abraham (6) Top Goal Scorer Gundogan (12)
Y38, R2 Discipline Y36, R0
5 Failures to Score 2
48% Clean Sheets 53%
42% Both Teams to Score Games 41%
45% Over 2.5 Goals 44%
55% Under 2.5 Goals 56%
  • The Citizens have had the better of their opponents in the last three competitive domestic cups at the Wembley stadium.
  • Gabriel Jesus, Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne all fit proves menace in the attack against a well-disciplined defence makes this an exciting game.
  • Man City have UEFA Champions League football will have one less day rest as they play on Wednesday against Borussia Dortmund with a 2 – 1 home lead to take to Germany.
  • Chelsea’s best goal scorer is Tammy Abraham, with six goals which have fallen down the pecking order under the German manager preferring Kai Havertz, who has scored just two goals all season.

Head to Head

Last 5 meetings between the two sides
Date Competition Game Result First Goal-scorer
03/01/2021 EPL Chelsea 1 – 3 Man City Gundogan 18′
25/06/2020 EPL Chelsea 2 – 1 Man City Pulisic 36′
23/11/2019 EPL Man City 2 – 1 Chelsea Jesus 24′
24/02/2019 League Cup Chelsea 0 – 0 Man City
10/02/2018 EPL Man City 6 – 0 Chelsea Jesus 22′

Conclusion & Betting Tips

Despite only suffering one defeat under Thomas Tuchel, you still feel that Chelsea are a work in progress, and it will take a season or two before it is the finished article. That said, Chelsea could yet win the FA Cup and the Champions League. They are great defensively; they just need to score more goals.

There could be signs of complacency sneaking in at Manchester City. Recent defeats against Manchester United and Leeds United you feel could have been avoided had the team been focused, but with such a lead in the league, it’s unlikely to matter at the end of the season.

If this an open game, it’s difficult to see past City. Chelsea is likely to frustrate them, but City has goals all over the pitch. We don’t think it will be a classic; our tip would be a 2-1 win for Manchester City that is available @ 8/1 with bet365. We fancy Ilkay Gündogan to play a part, and he is available @ 8/5 to add to his nineteen goals this season.

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