Chelsea vs. Manchester City Odds & Picks: How to Bet Saturday’s FA Cup Contest (April 17)
Matt McNulty – Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images. Pictured: Ruben Dias.
- Premier League powers Chelsea and Manchester City square off Saturday in an FA Cup semifinal match at Wembley Stadium.
- This huge battle has all the makings of a tight affair, with both sides featuring stellar defenses.
- Matt Trebby breaks things down and details why he's backing the under in a contest being played at one of England's most hallowed grounds.
Chelsea vs. Manchester City Odds
|Manchester City Odds||-115|
|Over/Under||2.5 (+105 / -140)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 12:30 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||ESPN+|
|Odds as of Saturday morning via BetMGM.|
England’s two Champions League semifinalists will meet in a domestic semifinal on Saturday, with a trip to the FA Cup final on the line.
Both teams reached the final four in last year’s FA Cup, and were defeated by reigning champion Arsenal. The Gunners eliminated Manchester City in the semifinal round and Chelsea in the championship.
Chelsea and Manchester City are much different at this point in the season than they were at this point in last year’s FA Cup. Let’s see how that translates into betting value.
England’s first Champions League semifinalist is possibly the most unlikely of the four clubs to have qualified for the tournament this season.
While Manchester United was relegated to the Europa League in December, the club is second in the Premier League and have been consistently good since early October 2020. Liverpool is the reigning champion in England’s top flight.
However, since manager Thomas Tuchel took over, the Blues have become an ideal cup team. They have the attacking talent to produce moments of brilliance to win a game, but are built upon a solid and organized defense.
These clubs met earlier this season in a match that was thoroughly dominated by Manchester City, but Frank Lampard was still in charge at that point and there really isn’t much to take from it.
Since Tuchel was put in charge, Chelsea has lost just twice in 18 games. One of those setbacks was against West Bromwich Albion on April 3 that saw the Blues down to 10 men for most of the game, and the other came in Tuesday’s 1-0 defeat of Porto in the Champions League that saw them progress.
In those 18 games, Chelsea has conceded just nine goals and five of them came against West Brom.
There was awhile on Wednesday when I thought the Cityzens would have to settle for the domestic treble this season. Manchester City conceded the first goal to Borussia Dortmund in their Champions League match, which had the German side in position to move on.
However, a second-half penalty (a fortunate one, some might say) and Phil Foden rocket put manager Pep Guardiola’s side through to the semifinals and secured a matchup with Paris Saint-Germain.
Manchester City reached the FA Cup semifinals with a quarterfinal win over Everton, via its relatively comfortable 2-0 result at Goodison Park. The Cityzens controlled the game with a 1.4-0.4 advantage in expected goals, keeping another clean sheet in the process.
With injuries to Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus this season, Manchester City has played with some of its more attacking players as “false nines” or a withdrawn striker. It has been Bernardo Silva most of the time of late, although the club has not scored more than twice in any of its last six games. The Cityzens won five of those matches, but for a team with their attacking talent, you’d expect a greater attacking output.
Guardiola’s clubs has conceded four goals in its last three games, including a shocking 2-1 result against Leeds United last Saturday. Manchester City dominated in xG during that match, holding a 2.4-0.3 xG advantage, according FBref.com, and faced a Leeds team down to 10 men for most of the contest.
The defense has been Manchester City’s biggest strength this season, thanks to the center-back pairing of Ruben Dias and John Stones. Dias could very well be the Premier League’s player of the season, while Stones has showed more poise this season while re-establishing himself in the side.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Given the defensive prowess of both teams, this has the makings of a tight and tense Cup tie. The under has really good value here at -120 odds. I can definitely envision a goalless first half before a piece of brilliance decides things.
As seems to be the trend in Europe nowadays, the total going under is the play.
Pick: Under 2.5 Goals (-120)