The FA Cup is known for its magic, and while one of these ties definitely requires some of that in order to spring a surprise, the semi-finals always make for tense viewing given what’s at stake.
Unfortunately, the Football Association have devalued the Cup Final to a large degree by playing both semi-finals at Wembley.
That doesn’t mean they can’t be profitable for you, though. Here’s a sneaky double that could land you in the money this weekend.
In the Premier League, there’s a blueprint for how these kinds of games go. Manchester City start slowly, knowing that if they keep the ball, they eventually breakdown an energised Brighton side. They don’t give away a kick in the opening thirty minutes unless City produce a moment of magic and everyone ends up frustrated because we’ve gotten so used to these games that we already know the results in our heads.
The FA Cup is a bit different.
A huge issue for clubs like Brighton going to Man City is that they’re already beaten in their heads and see a point as a massive result. Psychologically, as the game goes on, you’re more inclined to keep it tight.
That won’t do them any good in this arena.
Wembley’s a bigger pitch. It gives the City slickers more space to play in and it gives Brighton a sense of occasion that they won’t normally have.
There’s every chance Sergio Aguero will sit this one out and Gabriel Jesus will start. This is good news for overs backers as utilising both in very different ways has been a real success when City have felt the need to in recent months.
This opens the game up to rain goals, both early and late.
Troy Deeney genuinely does seem like a bloke who’s fit to have a Wembley moment. It just suits his rugged persona yet constant sense of overachieving as a footballer.
That won’t be today, though.
Wolves’ 3-5-2 system is ideal for this pitch and the space for Neves and Moutinho to exploit will open up a generally poor Watford team who won’t appreciate the vast channels on Wembley’s turf.
Unfortunately, the issue here lies with a willingness for both sides to rely on penalties as neither see themselves as considerably superior to their opponents.
It would be a fitting hat-tip to Nuno Espirito Santo to land a spot in an FA Cup final following one of the best managerial performances in modern Premier League history.
The goal threats on both sides are evident, but quickfire counter-attacks aren’t as easy to come by at Wembley and the emphasis on possession will win the day for the side best suited to that gameflow – and that’s Wolves.
Not only did Santo’s approach see them haul in an incredible points tally in the league, it looks like his method of moving the ball will progress his side into their first FA Cup final since 1960.