The first semifinal of FA Cup this season is all about the big teams. They both have just advanced to the semifinal in Champiosn league this midweek. This weekend The Blues and the Citizens are squaring off to snatch a win in this mouthwatering clash which everything is at stake for both sides’ domestic campaign.
The teams’ previous games
Chelsea was susprisingly beaten by FC Porto at the second leg of Champions League quarter final. They were rather frustrated to break the deadlock before finally the Portuguese side scored their winning goal through the remarkable Mehdi Taremi’s overhead kick. Unfortunately, such was the only goal and not enough to overturn Thomas Tuchel’s side advantage.
Manchester City faced the similar situation when travelling to Dortmund. Pep Guardiola’s men managed to win over Dortmund 2-1 after struggling to find the back of the net at the first half. Dortmund took the lead through Jude Bellingham’s strike. The Citizens finally levelled the term by Riyad Mahrez’s penalty before Phil Foden bagged their late winning goal again just like in the reverse fixture.
Thomas Tuchel has always been in favour of 3-4-2-1. Kai Havertz is likely to feature as the false nine again supported by Mason Mount and Timo Werner or Christian Pulisic behind the former Leverkusen man. The formation can be tweaked to 3-4-1-2 as well. Mateo Kovacic is the only name on the sideline here.
Pep Guardiola is unlikely to change his 4-3-3 formation with a false nine too since Gabi Jesus’s lack of speed while Sergio Aguero is injured again. Bernardo Silva could get a nod for playing this role with Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez or Ferran Torres on both sides.
Players to watch
The versatile Mason Mount seems to be one of the indispensable names in Chelsea. He has netted seven goals and made five assists in UCL and Premier League this season. Another notable name to watch is the German Kai Havertz who seems to find his rhythm in Stamford Bridge by occupying the false nine role. He has notched up two goals and three assists.
Meanwhile, Manchester City has several names who have been given the false nine role but Phil Foden seems to do it better and more consistent too. The English youngster has scored nine goals and provided seven assists. Some other key men to focus on are the captain Kevin de Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan.
Chelsea vs Manchester City Prediction
In this first encounter between Thomas Tuchel and Guardiola in Premier League, one could expect a tight affair in the midfield and trading attacks from both sides. Antonio Rudinger and Co have been quite solid at the back although they did concede late in the midweek for their second loss under the German boss. The stalemate seems more possible and a penalty shoot out will be the decider.