- Manchester United meet Chelsea in the second of this weekend’s FA Cup semifinals
- United looking to lift the FA Cup for a record-equalling 13th time
- We’ll preview the game, look at the odds and offer a pick
The 2019-20 FA Cup has finally reached its semifinal stage, with both games taking place in a fan-less Wembley this weekend. First up, on Saturday, Manchester City will look to take another step closer to retaining their crown when they take on Arsenal, and then on Sunday, July 19, KO at 1:00 pm EST, Manchester United meet Chelsea.
We’ll preview Sunday’s game, look at how the teams have fared since the restart, and look for some good bets.
Manchester United vs Chelsea FA Cup Odds
|Team||Spread||Moneyline||Total||Odds to Advance at FanDuel|
|Manchester United||pk, -½ (+109)||+145||Ov 2, 2½ (-122)||-140|
|Chelsea||pk, +½ (-129)||+174||Un 2, 2½ (+102)||+110|
Odds taken July 17
Reds 3 Blues 0, So Far This Season
Frank Lampard’s Blues currently have the edge over United in this season’s Premier League – with two games left they are in third on 63 points; one point and two places ahead of the Red Devils – but have also lost to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men three times over the course of the season. The psychological advantage here is very much with United who have a Champions League place, possibly at Chelsea’s expense, still in their sights.
In Chelsea’s favor however is freshness, in that on Tuesday night they had a gentle, comfortable 1-0 win over already-relegated Norwich, while United’s midweek game was on Thursday night when they had to battle hard to overcome a feisty and determined Crystal Palace team; this after a home game with Southampton on Monday night. Lampard will be hoping the two extra days rest will be decisive.
*reads 'six goals in last eight @PremierLeague starts'*
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) July 15, 2020
For United, the aim is for this season’s FA Cup campaign to be record-equalling, as they seek to match Arsenal’s record of 13 FA Cup wins, but they have had to do it the hard way with an away tie in every round. Back in January, it took them two games to see off fellow European hopefuls Wolves, with the tie eventually being decided by a 1-0 replay win at Old Trafford after the initial tie in Wolverhampton ended goal-less. Easy wins followed against Tranmere and Derby before a tough quarterfinal in Norwich was only decided in the final minutes of extra-time when Harry Maguire scored from close range.
The Norwich game was arguably United’s least impressive showing since the restart, where their form has been little short of outstanding; the only blemish being dropped points against Southampton on Monday night at Old Trafford when they drew 2-2.
Manchester United vs Chelsea Head-to-Head Stats
|5||Games played in 2019/20 FA Cup||4|
|27||Number of FA Cup semifinals||22|
|20||Number of FA Cup finals||13|
|12||Number of times FA Cup winners||8|
|5th||Current Premier League position||3rd|
Chelsea the 21st Century FA Cup Kings
Chelsea’s FA Cup pedigree in the FA Cup is unquestionable, and their final win in 2018 – when they beat United 1-0 – was the eighth time they have lifted the trophy. Their route to the semis this season has been a tough one, with hard-fought wins over Liverpool and Leicester in the round-of-16 and quarterfinals following on from narrow wins over Nottingham Forest and Hull City.
Unlike United, Chelsea have had mixed form since the restart, losing disappointingly to West Ham and Sheffield United, but also winning six times, including a fine 2-1 win over Manchester City in late June. Against Norwich on Tuesday night, they looked comfortable but faced opponents whose sole aim was to return home with a respectable scoreline, and United will offer a very different challenge.
Tired United to Get the Job Done?
So, while their respective EPL positions suggest there’s little to choose between these two, United have been the better side since the restart and are statistically the Premier League’s in-form team. The fact they have already beaten Chelsea three times this season may also be significant, even taking into account United’s hectic week, and they’ll be looking at the FA Cup as a chance for silverware
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 16, 2020
The adrenalin boost that comes with an FA Cup semifinal will certainly see United through the opening stages of this game, and if, in that spell, they get an early goal I only see one winner. Chelsea, if they can take the game to extra-time, will fancy it, but I see United, with their extra confidence and swagger, getting the job done in normal time.
Pick: Manchester Utd to win (+145)
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