Chelsea v Man City: Keep it simple by backing City for another Wembley win
Alan Dudman previews this Saturday's FA Cup semi-final between Chelsea and Manchester City, and he is firmly in the camp of the Citizens as they bid for an unprecedented quadruple...
Tuchel still making his mark
Progress has certainly been made since Thomas Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard at Stamford Bridge earlier in the season. A 2-1 aggregate success against Porto in the Champions League secured their first semi-final berth in that competition since 2014, and Tuchel has a chance to become the first-ever German manager to reach an FA Cup final. The club has also moved up from ninth.
However, lying in wait is Pep Guardiola, an opponent he has so far failed to beat in five attempts from their days in the Bundesliga.
Tuchel's tactics have been implemented well and he rarely deviates from his favoured 3-4-2-1 and 3-4-1-2. They are compact defensively, although the "no thrills" quote from the German has gone out of the window in the past two Premier League matches with a 5-2 loss to West Brom and a blistering 4-1 victory against Crystal Palace. The Eagles were blown away in that by a quicksilver start ,especially from Kai Havertz.
In terms of team news, Mateo Kovacic is ruled out having suffered a hamstring injury earlier in the week. Out of form Timo Werner was left out of the starting 11 recently in both the Palace and Porto games.
The quadruple is on - maybe
Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher doesn't say much in his tweets and over the last few days the Manchester City man has said "PUB" and "I said maybeeeee", which gives you an idea of the two things on his mind at the moment - which include City's quest for a historic and unprecedented quadruple - something that no club has ever achieved.
They remain on course for it following a brilliant game and victory against Dortmund in midweek to move into the Champions League semi-finals, only the second time they have reached the last four.
All things are swell with a monumental lead in the Premier League - 20 points ahead of Chelsea and a run of losing just four games all season in all competitions.
The outright betting for the FA Cup is almost a carbon copy of the match betting for this; with City at 1.85 to win the trophy.
City must be backed en route to final
Exchange betting means we need two sides to take part but there wont be too many in a mad rush to press up on the right hand side to take on City at the moment, and I am not sure I do either at 1.88.
Tuchel will no doubt want to be compact here with his two holding midfielders, but it's a task of herculean proportions in trying to shut out a team that have scored in every game bar three all season - and that's in all competitions.
The 1.88 on Guardiola's men also looks reasonable considering they have won eight of their last nine meetings with Chelsea which includes the 1-3 success earlier in the season at Stamford Bridge. They've never lost to Chelsea in three meetings at the new Wembley Stadium and have won nine of their last 11 FA Cup semi-finals.
The stats are well and truly in City's favour.
Chelsea will drag in plenty of backers simply because of their price at 5.6, but there's no point being clever here.
Foden can go in again
Sergio Aguero is prominent in the betting and he has been a lucky player at Wembley with eight goal involvements in 10 appearances in London. However, Phil Foden's goal against Dortmund rewarded his backers and I am happy to go again with the midfielder - who is operating at a one in three strike-rate with 15 in 47 this term. We can use the Bet Builder on the Sportsbook and play Foden to score at anytime (5/2) and the City 0-2 win (15/2). That pays 22.8 on the double.
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