Manchester City v Chelsea | FA Cup Match Preview
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Manchester City v Chelsea | FA Cup Match Preview

16/04/24 19:18

The first of the two FA Cup Semi Finals takes place on Saturday as two English football giants go head to head looking to book their place in the final. Wembley Stadium hosts what is sure to be an exciting encounter between Manchester City and Chelsea.

Manchester City’s path to the final has been nothing short of destruction. Proving just how strong of a side they really are. The 5-0 thrashing of championship side Huddersfield Town kicked off their campaign and since then they have taken down the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Luton Town and Newcastle United. Going into this game as the favourites not just for this match but for the entire tournament, City will look to continue their dominance against Chelsea.

On the other hand, Chelsea have arguably had quite an easy route to this stage. They have faced Championship opposition in three of their four games defeating Preston, Leeds and Leicester. And in the other game, they played out a 0-0 draw with Aston Villa, beating them 3-1 in the replay. City will be by far their biggest threat so far but I can’t imagine they go down without a fight.

Manchester City v Chelsea Stats

In their last games, both sides managed fantastic, high scoring victories.

City came out 5-1 winners against Luton Town cementing themselves at the top of the Premier League table. It certainly helped that both Liverpool and Arsenal suffered defeats at the hands of Crystal Palace and Aston Villa respectively but nonetheless City’s dominance against the Hatters paid off.

The Blues managed an astonishing 6-0 win against Everton. Four goals from former Man City man Cole Palmer helped Chelsea to what was truly a destructive victory. That win took Pochettino’s side to 9th in the table. For what has been a pretty lacklustre season overall, to say the least, it is more than telling that they are now just three points off Manchester United, in 6th. Their fight for European places next season is still very much alive.

Man City, though dominant a lot of the time, have recently struggled at the semi final stage of this competition. Three of their last four FA Cup semi finals have resulted in losses, something that I’m sure will be playing in the backs of both teams minds. Even if City came out champions in last season's competition.

Chelsea’s FA Cup record also speaks for itself. They have won the trophy a total of eight times throughout their history proving they can do it on the big stage. However, it has been a while since they have come out victorious. The last time they won the competition being back in 2018.

These two sides came up against each other in last year's FA Cup as well. Of course, City, who went on to be champions, took the win. A devastating 4-0 victory thanks to two goals from Riyad Mahrez, a penalty from Julian Alvarez and a goal from Phil Foden.

Chelsea haven’t got a good record against Manchester City in recent years at all either. They haven’t actually beaten City since back in May 2021 in the Champions League Final.

Despite that both sides have already played each other twice this season with the two games resulting in draws. Firstly, a 4-4 draw back in November and then a 1-1 draw in February. If things go that way this time we will be seeing this game decided on penalties.

Manchester City v Chelsea Players to Watch

It’s quite hard to narrow it down to one player to watch when it comes to Manchester City. Especially considering just how dominant they are most of the time. It’s hard not just to say all of them.

If I had to choose one going into this match though it would have to be Phil Foden. Foden has had a remarkable season this year proving just how superb he truly is. Always popping up in key moments - most notably in recent weeks scoring an absolute screamer in the first leg of the UCL Quarter Final against Real Madrid - Foden is truly a remarkable young player.

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But of course expect players like Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Haaland to be difference makers as well.

Chelsea have had a season filled with ups and downs but one player that always sticks out is Cole Palmer. Facing his former team in this game it will be interesting to see how he performs. But after scoring four times on Monday night against Everton, his confidence will surely be through the roof.

Manchester City v Chelsea Team News

Pep Guardiola’s side don’t have too many major injuries to worry about going into this game. Kyle Walker is expected to miss the game as he looks to return from a muscle injury suffered a few weeks ago. John Stones is also a doubt for this game as well, thanks to a knock he picked up recently. It’s 50/50 as it stands as to whether he is involved. If he is, it most likely will be from the bench.

However, despite recent concern, Kevin De Bruyne, Julian Alvarez and Rico Lewis all look fine to return to action in this game.

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Alternatively, Chelsea have quite a few players missing. Wesley Fofana, Romeo Lavia, Reece James, Christopher Nkunku, Lesley Ugochukwu and Levi Colwill will all most likely miss the tie.

Manchester City v Chelsea Where To Watch

The action from Wembley Stadium is set to get underway at 17:15pm.

All the action will be available to watch on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

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