Saturday 22nd April. 5:15PM. BBC One
FA Cup semi-final weekend is here, and 48 hours of intense drama begins with a mouth-watering clash between this season’s two best sides. Couple this with the fact it’s a London derby, at Wembley no less, and it has all the makings of a classic.
As well as securing a place in the final, the winner will be striking a huge psychological blow in the Premier League title race too. Will Wembley blue or white on Saturday evening? Either way, it should be 90 minutes of delight for the neutral.
Let’s just hope we can win some money from the big match too!
Blues Bidding To Underline Superiority
Antonio Conte’s men have slipped up on more than one occasion in recent weeks, which has opened up a title race that looked done and dusted for long parts of the season. While those bad results will have planted a few seeds of doubt, the Blues are still on for a memorable double in the Italian’s first season. A win here at Wembley would be a massive step towards that target.
They might not be the form side going into this one, but Chelsea have still largely performed very well. On their day, the duo of Eden Hazard and Diego Costa are more than capable of winning any game while N’Golo Kante and co. will inevitably make life difficult for Tottenham’s attacking stars.
When at their very best, Chelsea control football matches with greater authority than any other side in the country. A fast start and early goal in this one could put them on the pathway to securing a return to Wembley next month.
Although Spurs may have something to say about that.
Can Spurs Go Marching On?
Mauricio Pochettino’s men have worked wonders to claw themselves back into the title race, especially as they’ve missed key players at key times. The fact that they head to Wembley with their most important players fit should give them a great chance of securing another massive result against Chelsea.
In truth, it was their 2-0 win on March 1st that truly kickstarted their belief, and that will surely provide a huge source of inspiration here. The likes of Dele, Harry Kane, and Heung-Min Son are all capable of causing problems for any defence. Given that they’ve scored 11 goals in their last three games alone, taking advantage of Chelsea’s recent wobbles will be the target.
This has been an incredible season for Spurs, but their one low point came in Europe. They simply couldn’t find a way to perform at Wembley against foreign opponents. Those mental hurdles could be another obstacle that they’ll need to clear.
Still, Spurs have been the best side in the country over recent weeks, yet still enter this clash with little pressure on their shoulders. Could that be the key that helps them secure a place in the final? Whatever happens, we can expect a big performance from the north Londoners.
Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur Betting
Given the immense quality of both sides, and the fact it’s on neutral turf, the bookmakers have struggled to establish a firm favourite. Coral lean slightly towards Chelsea at odds of 17/10 while Spurs are available at 7/4. Alternatively, the draw – and extra-time – can be backed at 12/5.
Chelsea have been brilliant this term, and will still be firm favourites to win the league. Moreover, they are more than capable of coming good at Wembley. Having said that, it’s hard to overlook Tottenham’s current form.
It’s hard to see either side running away with this, and it could well go all the way to penalties. One way or another, though, we’re backing Spurs to go marching on to the final.
This will be a physical and fierce battle between two fantastic football teams, and passions could easily lead to a few bookings. If anyone is likely to lose their head, it’s Costa.
The Spaniard could easily get booked for multiple offences while he’s equally likely to get frustrated should Chelsea fall behind going into the closing stages. Alternatively, an energetic goal celebration could result in a caution. At 5/2, he’s well worth backing for a booking.