Predictions

Momentum swing?

The FA Cup semi finals are upon us this weekend with a blockbuster London derby kicking things off.

 

Chelsea host Tottenham at Wembley in what promises to be a physiological battle with both teams already going for the Premier League crown.

 

Team news 

Chelsea boss, Antonio Conte faces a selection headache with several players potentially ruled out.

 

Marcos Alonso, Thibaut Courtois are expected to return after overcoming a stomach bug and ankle injury respectively.

 

Vice captain, Gary Cahill is too expected to miss the trip to Wembley, after spending two nights in hospital.

 

Cahill’s absence paves the way for John Terry to make his return to the starting eleven, just days after announcing his departure.

 

Spurs head coach, Mauricio Pochettino has ruled out a early return for Danny Rose this weekend.

 

Rose is however expected to feature next weekend in the North London derby against Arsenal.

 

Erik Lamela, Michel Vorm and Harry Winks are out of this semi with injuries.

 

Spurs’ Wembley hoodoo

 

Tottenham have already been to Wembley this season, having played their UEFA Champions and Europa League home games there.

 

Their record there has been poor with just one victory, against CSKA Moscow and three European defeats.

 

Could things get better with this being a domestic cup competition?

 

Chelsea’s to lose

 

This match is Chelsea’s to lose given the North Londoners’ have lost their last six FA Cup semis.

 

The Blues have just one defeat at this stage in their last five semi finals and that defeat came against Manchester City in 2013.

 

Antonio Conte will be hoping for better success on English soil after never winning Italy’s domestic cup, Coppa Italia.

 

Tight form

 

Both sides come into this match in strong form.

 

Chelsea haven’t lost back to back matches since April 2016 and with last weekend’s shock defeat at Manchester United, will be hoping to avoid another loss here.

 

Tottenham are unbeaten in eight matches since suffering a first leg defeat in Gent. This is their best run since 1960, when they went unchallenged for 13 games.

 

Prediction

 

This is a massive game for both teams with the Premier League title also in contention.

 

A win for Pochettino’s side will give them plenty of confidence for the run in. Lose then they need to shake it off quickly and treat their remaining league games as if it was the FA Cup final itself.

 

A loss for Chelsea will leave Conte wondering if his strategy has been found out. Victory will renew confidence amongst him and his players.

 

If this goes to penalties, expect no real mental advantage to be gained.

 

Both teams are in action during midweek as Chelsea face Southampton on Tuesday night. Tottenham however don’t go to Crystal Palace till Wednesday.

 

With this in mind, Chelsea should aim to get this done in normal time. Realistically given the even Stevens in quality, can see extra time being needed here.

 

Tottenham are currently looking too strong to beat.

 

When they won the 2007-08 League Cup, they faced a Chelsea side in title contention so the current squad need to utilise the spirit of that win here.

 

Several Lilywhite players will be still reeling from the death of U23s coach, Ugo Ehiogu.

Expect them to have extra fire for this clash to win in his memory and they hopefully will do him proud.

 

Prediction: Chelsea 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur (AET)

Result: Chelsea 4-2 Tottenham Hotspur (90+4 mins)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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