There’s something about the FA Cup which inspires a sense of optimism among each of the 736 teams which enter the competition. Here we take a closer look at the four semi-finalists…
From non-league to Premier League, the gap between teams seems to disappear as they battle it out to lift one of the most historic trophies in the world.
From the original 736 teams, four remain. As Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester City prepare to face off in the semi-finals, Net World Sports’ content team decided to take a look at the final four and assess their chances of being crowned 2016/17 Emirates FA Cup champions.
First up is Rhys Owen-Johnson and why Blue will be the colour…
Route To The Semi-Finals: [4-1 V Peterborough United], [4-0 V Brentford], [2-0 V Wolves], [1-0 V Manchester United]
Semi-Final: 22nd April V Tottenham Hotspur – 17:15
The table doesn’t lie. The 7-time FA Cup winners sit pretty at the Premier League summit, having previously defeated the other semi-finalists this season.
Shielded by the bargain of the summer in midfield dynamo N’golo Kante, the high-flying Blues’ solid defence doesn’t leak often. With the red-hot Costa and Hazard sharing a mammoth 31 goals between them, Conte’s lions have the firepower to bite back following their Old Trafford blip and roar to victory at Wembley.
The Royal Box is a fitting backdrop for the potential final image of departing skipper John Terry wearing Chelsea blue – whether he plays or not!
Next up is our resident Manchester United fan Sean Edwards on why Spurs will be on their way to Wembley (again)…
Route To The Semi-Finals: [2-0 V Aston Villa], [4-3 V Wycombe Wanderers], [3-0 V Fulham], [6-0 V Millwall]
Semi-Final: 22nd April V Chelsea – 17:15
After yet another superb campaign for Mauricio Pochettino’s men this season, it’s easy to see why Tottenham Hotspur are hotly-tipped to lift this year’s FA Cup.
Currently sat second in the Premier League table, Spurs are a mere four points off leaders Chelsea, their opponents in this weekend’s semi-final in what may well be a defining match not only in the cup, but the in the title race too.
Spearheaded by a swashbuckling trio Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen, & Dele Alli, Spurs have blown their opponents away on their road to Wembley, including League 1 outfit Millwall in the quarter finals, who succumbed to a whopping 6-0 defeat.
Web Content Team Leader Mark Gent thinks under-fire gaffer Arsene Wenger might just have the last laugh at the end of the season…
Route To The Semi-Finals: [2-1 V Preston North End], [5-0 V Southampton], [2-0 V Sutton United], [5-0 V Lincoln City]
Semi-Final: 23rd April V Manchester City – 15:00
In what has been a turbulent season both on and off the field, Arsenal find themselves with the greatest motivation of all to win the FA Cup.
With world class players like Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, Arsenal are more than capable of toppling Manchester City and earning a place in the final come May 27th.
Arsenal’s recent success in the FA Cup (wins in 2013-14 and 2014-15) will give them extra incentive going into the semi-final, and the Gunners should look to use their Wembley experience to their advantage.
In what may very well be Arsene Wenger’s final season at the helm of this illustrious North London club, look for Arsenal to send their most successful manager of all time out on a high like their 4-0 win against Villa in 2015.
Last but not least, our Sarah Draycott believes a ‘Pep’ talk will see a Blue Moon rising over London…
Route To The Semi-Finals: [5-0 V West Ham United], [3-0 V Crystal Palace], [0-0 V Huddersfield Town], [5-1 V Huddersfield Town], [2-0 V Middlesbrough]
Semi-Final: 23rd April V Arsenal – 15:00
Overdue an FA Cup win having last lifted the trophy 6 seasons ago, Man City have been working hard laying all the foundations to win the trophy on May 27th.
With Gabriel Jesus still out injured, all eyes will be focused on star striker Sergio Aguero to help take the Manchester side all the way. The attacking midfield duo of Leroy Sane and David Silva have proved to be a driving force behind City’s recent wins, with both assisting and scoring in recent games.
Last week club captain Vincent Kompany made a cracking return to the starting line-up with a goal against Southampton. If Pep Guardiola decides to play him, his leadership could give the defence the strength they need to make it to the final.
— Manchester City (@ManCity) April 14, 2017
Wherever your allegiances lie, the FA Cup is always a point of interest for fans across the globe. Whether you’re sat on the edge of your seat at Wembley as your club look to clinch the match-winning goal, or you’re simply at home watching the match as a neutral, the cup holds a special place in the hearts of every football fan.
If there’s one piece of advice which we could give to the men at the helm of the final four; keep your cool and don’t celebrate too soon!