A repeat of the 2016/17 season FA Cup final is set for Sunday afternoon as Manchester United and Chelsea clash at Wembley Stadium.
It is set to be the fourth time that the two sides have met this season, having competed in the League Cup, as well being in direct competition for a place in the Premier League top four. The Blues have fallen to defeat on each occasion this campaign so are somewhat underdogs at a price of 2/1 with Betfair to win the game within 90 minutes, whilst the Red Devils are available at odds of 7/5. A draw is even less fancied at 23/10.
United actually head into the game with an excellent record in FA Cup semi-finals. Of the semi-final matches that they have appeared in, they have progressed from 70% of them. Comparatively, Frank Lampard’s troops do not have the most inspiring record, having reached the final from just 54% of their semi-final appearances. That could then explain why once again Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s troops are favourites to progress at a price of 8/11 with Paddy Power. Chelsea sit some way lower at 11/10.
Past FA Cup meetings will give encouragement to the Blues though. In four out of the last six clashes between the two teams in the competition, Chelsea have run out 1-0 winners and in fact produced that exact scoreline to progress past Leicester City in the quarter-finals. The scores to end 1-0 to Chelsea this time around is at 15/2 with William Hill so that could well be worth a punt.
One man that the West Londonders will hope they can rely on in this game is striker, Olivier Giroud. The Frenchman has been instrumental since the restart by scoring four goals in the Premier League. Despite not having netted against the Red Devils since 2016, he is at 6/1 to net this time around. His compatriot N’Golo Kante will not be featuring however after missing the last four matches and remains on the sidelines with Billy Gilmour, whose season has been ended by a serious knee injury.
Another player who has been inspirational since the restart of the league is Bruno Fernandes. After joining from Sporting Clube de Portugal, the midfielder has notched eight goals and eight assists in all competitions and is available at 5/1 to score first. Solskjaer does however have problems in his defence. Luke Shaw and Brandon Williams suffered ankle and head injuries respectively in the recent 1-1 draw against Southampton at Old Trafford so are doubts. They could join Axel Tuanzebe and Phil Jones in the treatment room.