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Four of the Premier League’s finest will battle it out for a place in the 2017 FA Cup final this weekend, when Chelsea face Tottenham Hotspur before Manchester City take on Arsenal in this season’s Wembley Stadium semi-finals.
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte will take his Premier League leaders into a London derby against high-flying Spurs on Saturday, as first in the English top flight meets second not far from either clubs’ home settings.
Sunday brings a much-anticipated duel between two more of the Premier League’s top teams as fourth-placed City look to down sixth-placed Arsenal, who are seeking a third FA Cup triumph in four years.
Premier League positioning will only count for so much at Wembley, however, as four outfits desperate for silverware travel to one of football’s great cathedrals in the hope of extending their quests for the crown.
Read on for all the latest odds heading into this weekend’s semi-final schedule, complete with preview and predictions for the penultimate stage of the tournament.
|2016-17 FA Cup Semi-Final Schedule, Live Stream, Predictions|
|Saturday, April 22||5:15 p.m. BST/12:15 p.m. ET||Chelsea vs. Tottenham Hotspur||Chelsea 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur AET (Chelsea win on penalties)||BBC One (UK), Fox (U.S.)|
|Sunday, April 23||3 p.m. BST/10 a.m. ET||Arsenal vs. Manchester City||Arsenal 1-3 Manchester City||BT Sport 1 (UK), Fox Sports 1 (U.S.)|
|The Football Association|
|2016-17 FA Cup Semi-Final Odds|
|Chelsea (3-2)||14-5||Tottenham Hotspur (7-2)|
|Arsenal (9-4)||5-2||Manchester City (11-10)|
Viewers in the United Kingdom can stream coverage of Saturday’s semi on the BBC Sport website, while Sunday’s match between City and Arsenal will be available on the BT Sport app. Audiences in the United States can tune in via Fox Sports GO or fuboTV.
Chelsea to Derail Tottenham Train at Wembley
Having each won at home in their two Premier League encounters this season, Saturday’s meeting between Chelsea and Tottenham will act as a sudden-death decider to see who’s England’s form team at present.
With four points separating Spurs from the only Premier League team that sits above them, the contest is sure to be close.
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is under no illusions as to who the favourites are ahead of the tie, per Tom Collomosse of the London Evening Standard:
The favourites are more Chelsea. They are top of the table and they have experienced players and an experienced coach. In recent years they have players who have European competitions and the World Cup. Their coach won three league titles with Juventus, so they are more experienced.
We are in a different process and it is impossible to compare the two clubs. If you look at our players, we have not won as much. Maybe we have some players who have won titles elsewhere but today we have the chance to challenge the big teams and try to win titles.
Points are ultimately the only statistic that matters in league football, but there are numbers running in Spurs’ favour, too, having scored more (68) and conceded fewer (22) than their west London rivals this term.
It’s safe to say the best of the English top flight will be on display at Wembley on Saturday, and the Professional Footballers’ Association Team of the Year reflected as much, per BT Sport:
BT Sport Football @btsportfootball
.@btsport @premierleague @PFA @ManUtd @SpursOfficial @ChelseaFC @LFC @Everton PFA PL TOTY by club:
Man Utd (1)
Everton (1) https://t.co/4SqmrF82Xw
4/20/2017, 9:25:33 AM
White Hart Lane has been a haven for Tottenham this season, but while they’ve hardly been sheepish away from home, it speaks volumes that their only three league defeats this term have all come away from home.
Even with a fully fit squad, that lack of composure in foreign territory could unravel their chances of surprising the Blues at Wembley in what will be a good practice run for next season’s home matches at the venue.
Prediction: Chelsea 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur AET (Chelsea win on penalties)
Citizens End Arsenal’s Last Trophy Lifeline
Manchester City were pleased to start captain Vincent Kompany for the second time in three matches when they won 3-0 at Southampton on Saturday, a signal of the security he provides in defence when present.
However, the Belgium international has barely featured for his team this season, and Opta statistician Orbinho recently pointed to the Citizens and the Gunners as two of the worst defences among the Premier League’s elite:
Why are Arsenal not in the top 4?
1 Spurs 22
2 Man Utd 24
3 Chelsea 25
4 Man City 35
5 Arsenal 39
6 Liverpool 40
4/14/2017, 1:26:49 PM
As long as Kompany remains fit, manager Pep Guardiola finally has the rock at the back he’s been searching for, providing a sturdier platform for the flair of Kevin De Bruyne, Leroy Sane and David Silva.
That said, one disadvantage the Citizens could have is that the club has struggled to offload its ticket allocation for Sunday’s semi-final, according to the Daily Mail:
MailOnline Sport @MailSport
Manchester City struggling to sell out 33,000 allocation for FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal https://t.co/Z6hJHNDU2O https://t.co/2UenqjHaCJ
4/20/2017, 5:30:09 AM
However, City should have enough talent about them to get the job done on the pitch, having lost just once in their last 10—and that was to league leaders Chelsea.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has seen his side win just four times in their last 10, losing in five of those games, and this could be the juncture at which the gulf in pedigree has a telling impact.
Prediction: Arsenal 1-3 Manchester City