Cyril’s Edge – 15 April 2022

The big talking points this weekend are the FA Cup Semi-Finals – here’s my take on how the action will unfold!

Manchester City vs Liverpool
So from a neutral perspective, we’ve enjoyed this clash. It dished out four goals in what was one of the best games of the season so far. Enter the FA Cup weekend and they grace us once again. This time around, a draw won’t be the result. We could see some awesome extra-time followed by the dreaded shootout. Liverpool’s still on course for the quadruple as they’ve already claimed the Carabao Cup. Man City is aiming for the treble. Somebody’s dream will be shattered, but we can expect another cracker. Both clubs qualified for the Champions League semis, despite respective second leg, draws. City’s Riyad Mahrez has scored four goals in the last three rounds of this season’s FA Cup, all have come after half-time. Sadio Mané has six goal contributions in 14 H2Hs since moving to Liverpool (G5, A1). Man City will edge this within the 90 mins

Chelsea vs Crystal Palace
The Blues saw their reign as European champions come to a halt at the Santiago Bernabeu. Chelsea’s valiant effort wasn’t enough as Real Madrid progressed to the semi-finals with an aggregate victory. Focus now turns to the Eagles and this could be Thomas Tuchel’s last shot at silverware this season. There’s also the case of the club going through turbulence off the field. The sale of the club is being met with situations and snags, but it will be unfair to say that it’s been affecting the play when positive results are still being produced. Patrick Viera’s Eagles are the ever-clear underdogs. Their ability to be a tough nut to crack for some of the league’s better sides could be key here. This season, they have already avoided defeat against Man City (W1, D1) and Arsenal (W1, D1), while beating Spurs 3-0 too. Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger and Kai Havertz are the key players for the hosts. Palace’s influential Conor Gallagher won’t be able to play against his parent club. They’ll look to Jean-Phillipe Mateta as he scored four first-half goals across his last eight games. Palace will fight but Chelsea will seal the win within the 90 mins.