FA Cup Semi-Finals: Preview and Predictions

There are a number of exciting potential FA Cup final matchups, including a rematch of last year’s Champions League final and this year’s Carabao Cup Final.

Is it premature to count Crystal Palace out against Chelsea? Who will prevail between Manchester City and Liverpool?

Keep reading to see how I think the FA Cup Semi-Finals will unfold.

Manchester City vs Liverpool

While I would have loved to see these two teams face off in the FA Cup final, it’s going to be riveting to see them play in this semi-final six days after their massive Premier League clash.

Manchester City and Liverpool still have almost everything to play for this season, yet only one of these formidable sides will advance to the final here.

It’s the least desirable trophy still available in comparison to the league title or Champions League; however, both teams will still push to win it. Truthfully, I have no idea which one will prevail as they are both so strong, although if I had to give a team the edge, it would go to City.

Depth will be the key here, as we likely won’t see full-strength sides from both these teams in this match. The likes of Fernandinho, İlkay Gündoğan, and other quality players that we don’t see enough of could feature, and City would be fine with them.

These teams will prioritize their Champions League matches and their Premier League clash days before, considering the closeness of the title race.

City have stronger depth than Liverpool, with overwhelming amounts of attacking options and strong midfielders. 

April is going to be fun.

Will Foden feature in the FA Cup?
City and Liverpool played to a 2-2 draw earlier this season.

Both Teams Run-Ins

Manchester City

Swindon 1-4 Manchester City

Manchester City 4-1 Fulham

Peterborough 0-2 Manchester City

Southampton 1-4 Manchester City

Liverpool

Liverpool 4-1 Shrewsbury 

Liverpool 3-1 Cardiff

Liverpool 2-1 Norwich

Nottingham Forest 0-1 Liverpool

Prediction: Manchester City 2-1 Liverpool

On April 5th, these teams will both embark on daunting twelve-day runs, starting with the first leg of their Champions League quarter-finals, and concluding with this FA Cup clash.

City play Athletico and Liverpool play Benfica, both ties that should be won; however, it can be expected that these teams will tire both physically and mentally during these games.

Additionally, Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola’s squads meet in Premier League Matchweek 32 during this run, in between the two Champions League legs.

It’s a game that will have massive implications on the title race, and perhaps is the most important of these four. 

I believe City will take this FA Cup clash and advance to the final, as they will have more left in the tank after the hectic run of games.

They have more depth as a whole compared to Liverpool, and that will be a massive factor in this game.

Chelsea vs Crystal Palace

This Semi-Final is a massive opportunity for Patrick Viera and his side to gain recognition for the phenomenal season they have had.

The Premier League is arguably the toughest in the world, and finishing mid-table is an impressive feat; however, there is never a reward for doing so besides staying in the Premier League.

If Palace can pull out a miraculous win against Chelsea on April 16th, they’ll be one game away from silverware, which will reflect the best season in the club’s history.

Palace have been runners-up in the FA Cup twice before, yet they’ve never lifted it. What a story it will be if they can do it without their star player, Conor Gallagher, who will miss this clash due to being cup-tied.

It won’t be an easy task, as Chelsea will be hungry to return to another domestic final after losing to Liverpool months ago in the Carabao Cup Final. They won’t be able to win the Premier League, so this could be their best chance at silverware this season.

Both Teams Run-Ins

Crystal Palace

Milwall 1-2 Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace 2-0 Hartlepool United

Crystal Palace 2-1 Stoke

Crystal Palace 4-0 Everton

Chelsea 

Chelsea 5-1 Chesterfield

Chelsea 2-1 Plymouth

Luton 2-3 Chelsea

Middlesbrough 0-2 Chelsea

Prediction: Chelsea 2-0 Crystal Palace

I would love to see Palace win this clash with Chelsea and advance to the FA Cup Final, but I just don’t think they will be able to handle Tuchel’s side.

Palace won’t have Gallagher, who is cup-tied, and Chelsea will want to take advantage of this easy route to the final.

Viera’s midfield will struggle without the Chelsea loanee, and no matter who plays for Tuchel between N’Golo Kanté, Mateo Kovacic, and Jorginho should enjoy themselves on this Wembley night.

Gallagher has been Palace’s X-Factor this season.

The Blues have an opportunity to make it three FA Cup Finals in three years, and I’m backing them to do it.

I’m not sure if they’ll beat Liverpool or City in the final, however, one thing that is certain is that they won’t want to lose 3 FA Cup Finals in a row.

The other semi-final is a bit more star-studded, so Chelsea’s primary objective right now is to defeat Palace and make the FA Cup final.

 


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