1969 All Over Again?

1969 All Over Again?

Four teams remain in the 2020/21 FA Cup and only one of them has yet to lift the trophy. Saturday sees Chelsea take on Manchester City, then on Sunday it’s Southampton who take on Leicester City. It’s the latter who is yet to win the FA Cup and they hold an unwanted record.  Let’s look at the two semi-finals with some betting tips as well.

Saturday 17 April – Chelsea v Manchester City

The FA Cup sees the top teams always making plenty of changes to their line-ups for FA Cup ties. Yet we end up with three of the current top five in the semi-finals. Just shows how strong the squads being built by the top Premier League clubs have become.

This isn’t just an FA Cup semi-final; it could be a dress rehearsal for the Champions League final. Both clubs booked their places in the last four of that competition in midweek but have tough semi-finals to play.

Chelsea are bidding to reach their fourth FA Cup final in five seasons. The past 24 years has seen them lift this trophy on seven occasions. That’s compared to one trophy in the 90 years that preceded their win in 1997, wonder why that happened.

They haven’t had too hard a route to this semi-final with three sides from outside the Premier League beaten. Then they defeated soon to be outside the Premier League Sheffield United in the quarter finals.  Current form is a bit patchy with recent losses to West Brom and Porto.

Manchester City are in their fourth semi-final in five seasons. They last won the FA Cup in 2019 hammering Watford 6-0.  Despite all the money pumped into the club, City have only won this trophy twice since 1969 (more about that final soon). All a bit strange considering they bid for a fourth straight EFL Cup win later this month.

City got past Borussia Dortmund and have a stronger squad than their opponents. They can be backed to get the win over Chelsea. Paddy Power will give you odds of 4/5 on them winning in 90 minutes

Sunday 18 April – Leicester City v Southampton

It was 45 years ago that Southampton won their only FA Cup. That win came 74 years after their previous FA Cup final appearance. They also made it to the final in 2003, losing to Arsenal. The Saints look safe from relegation, something not expected to be written after topping the Premier League earlier this season.

They do tend to have the occasional heavy loss. Last weekend saw them lose 3-0 at West Brom. This and last season have seen them lose matches 9-0, one of course at home to Leicester last season. Yet they have reached this FA Cup semi-final without conceding a goal. Shrewsbury, Arsenal, Wolves and Bournemouth have all been beaten by the Saints.

No one wants to own an unwanted record. It’s a bit like that Ant and Dec single you bought for some reason.  Leicester City have reached four previous FA Cup finals and not won one of them. No club has lost more FA Cup finals without having won the cup at least once.

Leicester have had a long wait to get into a fifth FA Cup final. Their last appearance was back in 1969, when losing 1-0 to Manchester City. Just two semi-finals have been reached since then. 1974 saw them lose to Liverpool in a replay, but they did win the third/fourth place play-off. Their only other semi-final since 1969 was in 1982 as a Second Division side, being beaten by Tottenham.

A long wait indeed but City do look a good cup team and made it to the EFL Cup semi-finals last season. They have beaten Wolves and Manchester United on their way to this FA Cup semi-final. Current form isn’t great, but they should have too much for a Southampton side they have already beaten this season. City winning in 90 minutes is 10/11 at Betfair.