Saturday, 13 April 2013

FA Cup Semi Finals: Preview

It's been a while since I have posted anything on here but despite this I shall be posting more regularly in the coming weeks and months as we come to the end of the season.

It's FA Cup weekend today as we see the semi finals of the competition take place at Wembley. There has been questions thrown into the mix recently into whether the semi finals should be played at Wembley or not. In previous years they have taken place at Villa Park and Old Trafford which seems logical and also means for fans there would be just the one trip to Wembley being the final. However now fans will go to Wembley twice within the space of a month or so and asks the question whether it takes away the excitement of going to the home of English football.

However moving on from that, the two semi finals see three Premier League sides and one Championship team take to the field in the battle for a place in the final. Winners from last season's competition, Chelsea, face fellow Premiership side Manchester City while Wigan Athletic take on Millwall in the first of the semi finals.

1# Wigan Athletic v Millwall
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Top flight side Wigan stunned everyone in their quarter final tie this year as they produced an excellent first half display to dispose of Everton at Goodison Park. Despite this they face themselves in yet another relegation fight in the league. The Premier League team will go into the tie as understandable favourites as they continue their cup journey. Roberto Martinez's side overcame Bournemouth, Macclesfield, Huddersfield and Everton to get here and will continue to rely on Jordi Gomez for the goals. The Spanish midfielder is their top scorer this season in the competition with three and alongside Arouna Kone the pair are a real threat. They come up against Championship side Millwall who are playing their second cup semi final in nine years. Kenny Jackett's men have only let one goal in, in their cup run this year and have kept clean sheets in their previous three games. They surprised everyone in the last round as they overcame Blackburn Rovers in a replay at Ewood Park thanks to a goal from Dan Shittu. Luton, Aston Villa and Preston have also fell victim to the London side in this year's competition. This tie will be the 23rd competitive meeting between the sides with Millwall winning nine and Wigan winning just the six.
Prediction: Wigan 2-0 Millwall
2# Chelsea v Manchester City
In this all Premier League tie winners of the competition last season Chelsea come up against Premier League champions Manchester City. It has been an interesting season for Chelsea as they find themselves in two semi finals and fighting for a Champions League place. Despite fans unrest with interim Rafa Benitez, the Spaniard has guided the side to semi final places in the FA Cup and Europa League. Manchester City came out on top in the Manchester derby on Monday at Old Trafford and with the title race all but over, they will want the FA Cup to be coming back to the Etihad. Roberto Mancini's men have had a relatively simple journey to the semi finals knocking out Barnsley, Leeds, Watford and Stoke scoring 13 goals and not conceding one. Having knocked Manchester United out in the last round, Chelsea will fancy their chances against City despite failing to beat them in three encounters this season. Manchester City came out on top in the Community Shield game at the beginning of the season as well as the league game at the Etihad. The two played a goal less draw at Stamford Bridge though back in November. 
Prediction: Chelsea 1-2 Manchester City

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