CHELSEA v Southampton: FA Cup Semi-final Preview

 

Date: Sunday 22nd April, 2018

Venue: Wembley Stadium

Kick-off: 15:00 BST

 

In this afternoon’s game, Chelsea will be appearing at the new Wembley for the 18th time, taking on Southampton in the FA Cup semi-final, with the winners facing Manchester United in this year’s final.

Of course, we have beaten Southampton in the not too distant past but had to come back from 2 goals down to do it, so we shouldn’t be taking this too lightly. We also managed a professional display against Burnley for the win midweek, whilst the Saints come into today’s game off the back of a 0-0 draw with Leicester.

Mark Hughes, who has lost both of his previous two FA Cup semi-finals as a manager (to Arsenal 2004-05 and to Chelsea in 2006-07), has already been knocked out of the FA Cup once this season with Stoke, so let’s hope we can make it twice in one season.

 

MANAGER’S VIEWS

Going into today’s game, Chelsea boss Antonio Conte says “We must have great motivation to finish the season as strong as possible. Now we have this chance to play at Wembley, we have the possibility to win the game against Southampton and play an important final for the second time in a row. We have to try to do our best.”

Southampton manager Mark Hughes meanwhile, says “It’s not every season you get the opportunity to get to a major cup final. It’s the greatest cup competition in the world in my view. In some people’s minds maybe the competition has been diminished since the emergence of the Champions League and Premier League, but to be involved in major cup finals is where you make your mark in the game and it’s where you need to be. It’s an opportunity to get to a major final and we are going there to make sure we don’t let it pass by.”

 

SQUAD NEWS

For Chelsea, David Luiz (alleged knee) and Ethan Ampadu (ankle) are injured, Danny Drinkwater (groin) is a doubt and Marcos Alonso serves his second of a three-match ban. Willian and Eden Hazard are expected to return to the starting line-up.

For Southampton, Sofiane Boufal and Mario Lemina face late tests and Jack Stephens is suspended.

 

TEAM

CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Courtois; Cahill, Christensen, Rudiger; Moses, Kante, Fabregas, Azpilicueta; Willian, Hazard, Giroud

SOUTHAMPTON (Possible line-up): McCarthy; Bednarek, Yoshida, Hoedt, Soares; Romeu, Hojbjerg; Bertrand, Ward-Prowse, Tadic; Long

 

LAST MEETING

Southampton 2-3 Chelsea (14 April 2018)

 

CURRENT FORM (ALL)

CHELSEA: WWDLW

SOUTHAMPTON: DLLLW

 

OTHER STUFF

~ Southampton have progressed from four of their previous five FA Cup ties against Chelsea,

~ Southampton lost the most recent FA Cup meeting between the teams 5-1 in the 3rd round (2012-13)

~ Chelsea are vying for six straight wins against Southampton in all competitions for the first time.

~ Chelsea have won 11 of their last 14 FA Cup semi-final matches.

~ Chelsea have kept clean sheets in three of their five ties in reaching the semi-finals.

~ Southampton have reached the FA Cup semi-finals for the first time since 2003.

~ Southampton have lost five of their seven previous visits to Wembley in all competitions

~ Southampton have scored six goals during their FA Cup run (all by different scorers), conceding 1

 

PREDICTION

BBC Sport: Chelsea 2-0 Southampton

Sky Sports: Chelsea 3-1 Southampton

Footyroom: Chelsea 3-1 Southampton


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