FA Cup Semifinal Betting Preview: Man United vs. Tottenham, Chelsea vs. Southampton
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The FA Cup started with 737 clubs back in early August, was trimmed to 124 through qualifying rounds by mid-October and is now down to four:
- Manchester United vs. Tottenham (Saturday, 12:15 p.m. ET)
- Chelsea vs. Southampton (Sunday, 10 a.m ET)
Both semifinal matches will be played at Wembley Stadium in London, England. Tottenham will have a bit of a “home-field” advantage considering the venue has been their temporary abode this season. The final will take place on May 19, also at Wembley.
This is the only trophy that all four of these clubs have a shot at winning this season, and they’re all coming off a road fixture in midweek Premier League action.
Manchester United vs. Tottenham (Saturday, 12:15 p.m. ET)
Moneyline Odds: Tottenham +125, Man Utd +241, Draw +248
Odds to Advance: Tottenham -146, Man Utd +130
One of the biggest questions for this match will be what United manager Jose Mourinho decides to do with his starting lineup. Alexis Sanchez was benched for their most recent match against Bournemouth and was not used as a substitute, while Romelu Lukaku came on in the 62nd minute to score. United kept a clean sheet with a 2-0 victory, washing away the bad taste in their mouth after losing to West Brom at home. Here’s their announced lineup:
Man United starting XI: De Gea, Valencia, Smalling, Jones, Young, Matic, Herrera, Pogba, Lingard, Lukaku, Alexis
There are hardly any injury concerns for either side coming into Saturday’s match, so both should be at full strength. Here’s what Tottenham’s lineup looks like:
Tottenham starting XI: Vorm, Trippier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies, Dier, Dembele, Eriksen, Dele, Son, Kane
In head-to-head matchups this season, both clubs held serve with home shutout victories — Man United 1-0 at Old Trafford in October, and Tottenham 2-0 at Wembley Stadium in January.
Tottenham are slight +125 favorites to win Saturday’s meeting in regular time and -146 to advance to the final. There’s been a little bit of action on the Spurs so far, as they opened +135 to win in regulation and -140 to advance. Man United are currently being offered at +241 to win in regular time and +130 to advance to the final.
Keep in mind that moneyline odds are based on 90 minutes of regular time, so draws are possible results. If the game is still tied after 90 minutes of regulation, they’ll play 30 minutes of extra time and then penalty kicks to decide a winner.
The total is trending toward the under (2.5, u-114), so we may see Mourinho’s squad sit back and simply try to counter. If that’s the case, a 1-1 draw in regulation could be in store, but I’m hoping to see a wide-open and exciting affair.
Chelsea vs. Southampton (Sunday, 10 a.m. ET)
Moneyline Odds: Chelsea -198, Southampton +623, Draw +359
Odds to Advance: Chelsea -458, Southampton +380
Chelsea are big favorites to advance to their second consecutive FA Cup Final, but they know it will be more difficult than the odds suggest. Just a week ago, they needed to rally from a two-goal deficit late in the second half to beat Southampton 3-2 in EPL action, making this meeting even more fascinating.
Both clubs have played since then, with Chelsea earning a 2-1 victory at Burnley and Southampton grabbing a 0-0 draw at Leicester City. Here’s what lineups look like for Sunday:
Chelsea starting XI: Caballero, Cahill, Azpilicueta, Emerson, Rudiger, Moses, Kante, Willian, Fabregas, Hazard, Giroud
Southampton starting XI: McCarthy, Bednarek, Yoshida, Hoedt, Bertrand, Cedric, Romeu, Hojbjerg, Lemina, Austin, Long
Pinnacle is offering a generous price of -198 for Chelsea to win in regulation, but most sportsbooks have them shaded in the -210 range. There’s definitely juice trending toward the over (2.5, o-127), and we’ll likely see Giroud up top instead of Morata, a good sign for over bettors. It’s also possible they’ll play up top together, but I wouldn’t bet on it. Early Friday the over was listed at 2.5 o-117, and we may see this total tick up to 3.
While I don’t see a whole lot of value on the moneyline, spread or total, I think it’s a good bet at +130 that Giroud will score any time in the match. He has played in three FA Cup Finals already and will have a bit to prove in the last few games of this season.
Photo features Tottenham’s Harry Kane and Man United’s Chris Smalling
Odds via Pinnacle and current as of Friday evening