Home Sport Soccer Mouth-watering semi-finals loom in FA Cup

Mouth-watering semi-finals loom in FA Cup

156
SHARE

Holders Manchester City face Arsenal, the most successful club in FA Cup in history, on Saturday while Chelsea meet Manchester United on Sunday.

Manchester Citys Fernando Gabriel Jesus and Arsenals Shkodran Mustafi will meet again in the FA Cup. Picture: PA Wire

The last four winners of the FA Cup go head-to-head this weekend in two mouth-watering semi-finals.

Holders Manchester City face Arsenal, the most successful club in FA Cup in history, on Saturday while Chelsea meet Manchester United on Sunday.

Though the Premier League has gone to Liverpool, City are still on course for three trophies this season. With the League Cup already in the bag, they are still in the Champions League, but first take on an Arsenal side in transition under Mikel Arteta.

The Spaniard learned his trade as assistant to City manager Pep Guardiola, but City hold all the aces and in midfielder David Silva, have a man determined to go out on a high. Silva is set to leave City at the end of the season, after 10 years with the club, but Guardiola says he is still an integral part of the side.

“He’s been in incredible form since the lockdown,” said Guardiola. “He had another exceptional game (in midweek against Bournemouth) and scored again. Twice in a row, a fantastic goal.”

Guardiola has rotated his side frequently since the season restarted after the coronavirus lockdown and will do so again, with Kevin de Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Aymeric Laporte among those set to return.

Arsenal have won the FA Cup more times than anyone and lifted the trophy in three of the past six seasons.

A surprise win over Liverpool in midweek has lifted spirits further and striker Alexandre Lacazette believes they can rise to the occasion.

“Hopefully we’re going to keep the confidence of the last 70 minutes today, against City on Saturday,” he said.

“In one game you never know … we know that we have a lot of qualities, we’re a big team with big players but we never know what is going to happen until the game.”

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard is likely to utilise striker Olivier Giroud in front of star midfielder Christian Pulisic, having praised their understanding in midweek.

“We clearly saw that with the goal (against Norwich), and I was delighted with Christian’s movement to run behind on the little angle, because that’s what we weren’t doing in the early stages of the game, and then Oli will always be alive in the box to those sort of balls,” he said.

United have been in a rich vein of form since the season resumed, but manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes they can also learn from their draw with Southampton.

“Mentally it’s maybe more important that we recover,” he said.

“Some games you want to take some bits from and against Southampton we created some great chances, scored some good goals, played some fantastic football at times and then you get the setback at the end.

“But you’ve got to get back on the horse, this is what you sign up for when you sign for Man United.

dpa