SBN - Soccer Betting News - SA's Leading Soccer Betting Newspaper: FA Cup Semi-Final: Manchester United vs Chelsea

FA Cup Semi-Final: Manchester United vs Chelsea



The penultimate stage of the oldest football competition in the world sees Manchester United and Chelsea lock horns at Wembley Stadium in England’s prestigious FA Cup. The Red Devils and the Blues have squared up three times already this season with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer getting the better of Frank Lampard on all three occasions, doing the double over Chelsea and knocking them out of the EFL Cup.

The pair are also currently entangled in a race for top four in the league, so to get that, coupled with some success in the FA Cup could make it a glorious campaign for either side. If United or Chelsea go all the way in the FA Cup, they would fully deserve it – simply because of the teams they have to beat to win the tournament.

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English FA Cup
Sunday 19 July
Wembley Stadium
19:00

To Win
Manchester United 13/10
Draw 9/4
Chelsea 2/1

Manchester United

Manchester United kick-started their campaign with a resounding 4-0 win over Chelsea back in August. Since then, the Red Devils suffered a huge blip in form which saw Ole Gunnar Solskjaer under immense pressure to lose his job before the end of 2019.

Now, United are on cloud nine and look well on course to challenge on all fronts next season. In fact, Solskjaer’s men return to European action in August where they still have a chance of winning the UEFA Europa League for the second time.

Manchester United sit third in the Premier League – above Chelsea – and are riding an incredible 18-game unbeaten run at the time of writing, dating back to January. The signing of Bruno Fernandes has injected new life into the club, and now with a fully fit squad, Solskjaer has no excuses and has justified why he is the right man to sit on the bench at the helm of United.

The mood looks much better, with confidence at an all-time high for some players, most notably the devastating front three of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood. Together, the trio have scored more goals across all competitions than Liverpool’s front three this season, while their defence has been just as effective, keeping 12 clean sheets in their superb unbeaten run.

It’s hard to fault United in any area of the pitch, but the department that, in my opinion, deserves the most credit is in midfield. The addition of Fernandes, coupled with the return of Paul Pogba from injury with Nemanja Matic serving as their anchor, has made Manchester United a formidable force again.

They can now afford to tweak things up during the game with all players capable of putting in a defensive shift, while, in Fernandes and Pogba, they have the key to unlock any defence. After getting the better of Chelsea three times this term, Solskjaer will be hoping to make it four from four now when it matters most.

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Chelsea

Prior to the season starting, everybody gave Chelsea a “free-hit” expecting very little from the Blues with the club appointing an inexperienced coach in Frank Lampard and without spending a cent due to their transfer ban.

Chelsea also lost their best player in Eden Hazard and two of their most experienced defenders in Gary Cahill and David Luiz. Without any experience in the dressing room and a lack of quality up front with the departure of Gonzalo Higuain as well, Lampard opted to turn to the youth.

The first couple of games proved to be a learning curb for the young lads, and it took them time to settle to the pace of the Premier League, but once they did, Chelsea showed that with patience, comes greatness.

The Blues have their fate in their own hands in terms of earning a spot in the UEFA Champions League for next season, while Lampard’s men have had arguably the toughest run from the teams remaining in the FA Cup, beating Leicester City (1-0) and Liverpool (2-0) in their last two rounds.

They kept clean sheets in both of those ties, but its their attack that has caught the eye this campaign. Tammy Abraham started the season like a house on fire, but since the restart back in June, Olivier Giroud has been the go-to man in the middle of Chelsea’s front three.

Alongside him, Christian Pulisic and Willian have been menacing on the wing and will ask Manchester United’s defence plenty of questions with their trickery and ability to cut inside and pick out a pass, or even shoot.

Chelsea’s defence hasn’t looked the greatest this season, but with the arrival of Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner next season, the message remains clear – outscore the opposition!

Probable line-ups: 

Manchester United: 4-2-3-1
De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; Matic, Pogba; Greenwood, Fernandes, Rashford; Martial.

Chelsea: 4-3-3
Arrizabalaga; James, Zouma, Rudiger, Azpilicueta; Kante, Kovacic, Mount; Willian, Giroud, Pulisic

Prediction: Greenwood to Score Anytime & Man United to win (7/2)
Whenever these sides have met this season, we saw fireworks aplenty with Manchester United coming out on top on all three occasions. Not much is expected to change in terms of the outcome with Solskjaer tipped to beat Lampard for the fourth time in his United reign. Mason Greenwood has been a shining star in attack and I’m backing the 18-year-old to announce himself on England’s biggest stage, being Wembley Stadium, with a goal to spur United on to victory.

Written by Jesse Nagel