The FA Cup semi finals are here and there is an absolute cracker for you to enjoy on Saturday when two giants of the English game meet live on free-to-air television
by Craig Humpage
Football Writer, Sporticos
Published on Saturday 17 April 2021
Pep Guardiola might be acting bashful about Manchester City's potential to win an unprecedented quadruple ahead of this FA Cup clash but their fans will be daring to dream. Their win over Borussia Dortmund in midweek has put them into the Champions League semi finals where their opponents today Chelsea will also reside. Thomas Tuchel's team lost 1-0 on the night in their second leg against FC Porto but edged through 2-1 on aggregate. The German coach has undeniably done a wonderful job since coming but can he get them into a domestic cup final this weekend? He says that Chelsea have to accept "there is a gap" between the two teams and he is right but that gap is nowhere near as big as the league table suggests and on their day they have the talent to beat Guardiola's team. It's going to be a fascinating tactical battle between the two. Tuchel has faced Guardiola five times, all in Germany when he was at Mainz and Borussia Dortmund, and has failed to beat him so far. As is usually the case with Pep, he will yet again be in charge of the better team on paper but perhaps Thomas Tuchel hasn't had players this capable of challenging the Spaniard yet. It is set to be an enthralling encounter and what's more, you can watch it live on the BBC.
Form: Chelsea vs Manchester City
Pep Guardiola's side have been imperious this calendar year losing only two games in all competitions - both in the Premier League, in the Manchester derby and at the weekend when the student met master as Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds United enjoyed a shock win at the Etihad. Thomas Tuchel is an astute tactical coach and I'm sure he saw plenty in the Yorkshire side's game plan which The Blues could emulate here. The Citizens returned to winning ways when they beat Dortmund in the Champions League midweek to go through in Europe but that recent taste of defeat could still be lingering.
Chelsea have been extremely consistent themselves since the German took over from Frank Lampard. They went unbeaten for 14 games upon his arrival before their calamitous 5-2 defeat at the hands of relegation strugglers West Brom. Since then they've beat Porto 2-0, thumped Crystal Palace 4-1 and lost to Porto 1-0 in their second leg in midweek. They look completely rejuvenated under the German and will go into this clash with a good level of confidence.
Both sides are in good form all things considered and taking into account the quality on show we can expect to see a competitive FA Cup semi final match.
Team News: Chelsea vs Manchester City
Ahead of this crucial FA Cup semi final, Mateo Kovacic and Andreas Christensen will miss out due to injury but besides that Chelsea are good to go. Tammy Abraham leads the scoring charts for The Blues in this competition with four goals and so may get a sniff here despite being way out of favour in the bigger games. The same goes for Olivier Giroud. However, it's more likely that Werner, Havertz and the like will be chosen over those two as Chelsea target one of the two trophies they can realistically win this season.
Sergio Aguero is yet again missing for City after suffering another muscular problem as his various suitors across Europe look on with trepidation at the prospect of signing a player who is equal parts brilliant and injury prone these days. Unlike in recent years, Pep is having a lot of luck in that department with the Argentine his only injury concern. Everybody else in the squad will be available and we know he loves a tinker so we might see the return of Aymeric Laporte to the defence and American prospect Zack Steffen in goal. He is however unlikely to make wholesale changes as he knows doing this and losing would lead to a justifiable rage among the fan base.
Prediction: Chelsea vs Manchester City
It's very tough to make a prediction for this one. I believe on paper the two sides are very evenly matched, especially if City play a slightly weakened side as they battle on four fronts in the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup. Anything can happen in a big cup semi final at Wembley and that's what makes it so fascinating. That being said, I feel City are too good for most teams right now. The Blues could try to take inspiration from Leeds' game plan and get in their faces and of course they are capable of winning but I picture a narrow win for City after an interesting tactical battle between the two managers. I'm going for a 2-1 City win.
Prediction: Chelsea 1-2 Manchester City
How to watch Chelsea vs Manchester City on TV with the BBC
Here's where you can watch this match:
Chelsea vs Manchester City
Saturday 17 April 2021
Kick Off Time: 17.30
As with many FA Cup matches, BBC has the rights to this semi final. You can watch it live on BBC One at 17.30. Match of the Day's Gary Lineker will host coverage starting at 17.00 with build up and analysis.
How to watch Chelsea vs Manchester City online via live stream on BBC iPlayer
You can also watch this match at the same time online via live stream with the BBC iPlayer. It is also completely free as long as you are a UK resident with a TV license. It's available on most popular devices like Android or IOS smartphones, tablets, laptops, smart TVs and anything else you can imagine. You will enjoy flawless live streaming on the go wherever you are.
Click here to check out the BBC iPlayer and avoid missing this big game!
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