WE'VE joined forced with renowned punter James Cantrill (@JimmyThePunt) to set-up and share our Colossus Predictor selections ahead of Saturday's FA Cup semi-final highlight between Chelsea and Manchester City.
What will the Correct Score be?
This campaign's Champions League Semi-finalists clash at Stamford Bridge this weekend in the FA Cup Semi’s and whilst they could both make it to the finals on the European stage, only one will progress here.
Since 2017, 63% of the FA Cup semi-finals Wembley has played host to has pitted the big six against one another and four of these games have featured Chelsea or Manchester CIty. Contrary to the bouts in the top flight- that are usually drab, dull and lacking in goals- recent history reveals that the big boys clashes in the capital are often thrilling affairs.
In the last decade, there have been eight semi-finals played out between the traditional big six, six have seen both teams score and six have seen over 2.5 goals land as there has been a total of 28 goals scored and an average of 3.5 per game!
Both sides' schedules are packed with crucial fixtures as we approach the final furlong of the season. However, I do not think you can underestimate how much that victory over BVB took out of Pep Guardiola’s side and with four huge fixtures to play before the end of the month something will have to give.
Therefore, I am touting Tuchel’s side to progress here and am covering both the 2-1 and 3-1 scoreline here.
Selection: 2-1, 3-1
Will a penalty be taken?
Mike Dean has the whistle for this one. Dean has awarded a penalty in a third of the EPL games he has overseen this campaign. Over the course of his career he has awarded one in 20% of the 55 FA Cup games he has taken charge off which includes the last Semi-final he oversaw in this competition.
With VAR in operation here, I do not think you can look too much into the averages though which is why I am covering both possibilities here.
Selection: Yes, No
Will a player be sent off?
Staggeringly, Dean has banished seven red cards in the EPL this campaign, the most of any top flight English official by some distance. In the FA Cup, he has given nine, however, none have come in the competition's closing stages.
This campaign, only one of Man City's games have featured a red card and they are yet to receive one! Chelsea have had two and five of their games seen at them. However, with Dean in charge I am going to play it safe here.
Will a goal be scored in the 1st half?
Under Thomas Tuchel, Chelsea have become defensively solid- only conceding eight goals in his 18 game long tenure- however, they are yet to become a free scoring attacking entity, evident as only three of their games under Tuchel have seen over 2.5 goals. However, eleven of these fixtures have seen the Blues find the net in the first half as 56% of the goals have come before the interval.
This, combined with the fact that 75% of Man City’s last 20 games have seen a first half goal, makes me happy to commit to one being scored here.
Selection: Yes, No
How many corners will be taken by the home team?
Only Man City have racked up more corners in the EPL this season than Chelsea (197) as they average 6.3 per game. Under the Bavarian, they have averaged just over six per game, hitting as many as 13 and as few as two.
Whilst this range is quite large, it is worth noting that two thirds of these fixtures have seen Chelsea accumulate between three and eight corners. However, given their opposition I am going to cover between three and six here.
Selections: 3-4, 5-6
How many corners will be taken by the away team?
Man City have averaged 6.5 corners per game this season in the EPL. Their fixtures against the traditional big six and both legs of their UCL Quarter-finals have seen them average 4.7 as they have hit between three and six corners in just under 70% of these games.
Selection: 3-4, 5-6
How many cards will be shown to the home team?
Under Tuchel, Chelsea have averaged just 0.6 cards per game as they have avoided a single booking in over 60% of these games! Staggeringly Chelsea have received one card or fewer in 15 of these games, therefore, this is what I am going to cover here, even given the refereeing appointment.
How many cards will be shown to the away team?
In the Premier League, only Liverpool (35) have received fewer cards than City (36) as they have averaged just over one per game. Their games against the big six have seen them average 1.6 cards per game as they have received between one and two in 73% of those.
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