MAN CITY meet Brighton at Wembley for the first of the weekend's FA Cup semi-finals on Saturday. Gaurav Chaddah (@Gchaddahjourno) shares his betting thoughts.
Manchester City v Brighton | Saturday 6th April 2019, 17:30 | BBC
Manchester City remain on course for what could be a famous quadruple and they seek to book a place in their domestic cup final of the campaign when they take on Brighton in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on Saturday.
Despite being April, the Citizens remain alive and kicking in all three competitions having already taken EFL Cup honours back in February when beating Chelsea here.
Their mission for the quadruple looked to be on thin ice when they went 2-0 down to Championship side Swansea in the last round of the FA Cup, but three goals inside the last 20 minutes, with their class and some fortune from the referee helping Pep Guardiola’s group over the line.
The FA Cup itself hasn’t exactly been the most successful competition for City since their takeover, having only won it in 2011 when they defeated Stoke 1-0 in the final. The Citizens reached the final in 2013 only to suffer a shock defeat to Wigan, the same team that claimed a massive scalp over Pep’s posse in last year’s competition.
Brighton steep underdogs
Brighton arrive at Wembley for a much-needed distraction from their Premier League struggles, with the Seagulls now only five points above the drop zone.
Chris Hughton’s men have lost their last two league games and needed penalties to overcome second-tier Millwall in the quarter finals of this competition.
It’s been 36 years since Brighton last reached the FA Cup final but they were beaten by Manchester United that day. The omens for them however may be promising, as they did beat City en-route to the final that year.
However, Brighton’s recent record against City is one too forget since promotion to the Premier League with the Seagulls losing all three games against the defending league champions, and they remain big underdogs on Saturday evening.
The betting angle
City are understandably short to reach the final and baring any mishaps, it’s difficult to see them failing to progress.
The Citizens are in the mist of a period where games are coming thick and fast, with Guardiola ringing the changes for Wednesday’s win over Cardiff, and the pre-match favourites will also have one eye on Tuesday’s first leg Champions League quarter-final contest against Tottenham, possibly meaning more rotation.
City will still will be confident of taking top honours. With rotation in mind, plus City’s last two games over Cardiff and Fulham being won by routine 2-0 scorelines when many would have expected a bigger margin of victory, I’m happy to follow that recent trend.
Brighton will be expected to keep it tight at Wembley and Betway’s even-money offering on a City win and Under 3.5 Goals seems a good play to me.
Manchester City v Brighton – Manchester City to win and Under 3.5 Goals (1/1 Betway)