FA Cup Semifinals Preview - FREE Picks

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019

By Jonathan Willis
FA Cup Semifinals Preview FREE Picks

Manchester City have a chance to win an unheard of four trophies in one season. The Citizens have been the most impressive team in England this year, and they have already claimed the Carabao Cup. They are leading the Premier League, have made it to the Champions League Quarterfinals, and they are the odds-on favorites to win the 2018-19 FA Cup. Manchester City are the only Big Six team left, and they are out to win their first league cup in eight years. Wolverhampton Wanderers, Watford FC, and Brighton & Hove Albion FC are looking to upset the apple cart.

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Manchester City vs. Brighton & Hove Albion FC

  • Date and Time: April 6, 2019, 12:30 p.m. ET
  • Location: Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England
  • Betting Line: Manchester City -2 and -2.5, O/U 3 and 3.5
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Brighton & Hove are making their deepest run in the FA Cup since they finished runner-up in 1983. The Seagulls’ run has been helped by the draw, as they have played just one Premier League side in the previous four rounds. Brighton knocked off Bournemouth on the road in their first match, and then they were able to meet and beat West Brom, Derby Country, and Millwall to reach the semifinals. The match against Millwall was the closest, as they had to overcome a 2-0 deficit with a goal in the 88th minute and a goalkeeper howler five minutes into extra time to win in penalties.

It took four rounds for Manchester City to finally face a real test in the FA Cup. The Citizens crushed Rotherham United, Burnley, and Newport County by a combined margin of 16-1 prior to facing off against Swansea City in the quarterfinals. They were down 2-0 for much of the match, but they finally turned it on late with three goals in the final 20 minutes to win and advance.

Jason Steele will miss this match on the side of Brighton, and the Seagulls may not have two of their stars either. Pascal Gros is doubtful to play, while Florin Andone is probable. Fabian Delph and Claudio Bravo are the injury scratches for City. Leading scorer Sergio Aguero and Benjamin Mendy are both questionable, while Vincent Kompany is probable. Manchester City cruised to a 2-0 win over Brighton in the Etihad back in September.

Watford FC vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers

  • Date and Time: April 7, 2019, 11 a.m. ET
  • Location: Vicarage Road, Watford, England
  • Betting Line: Wolverhampton PK and -0.5, O/U 2 and 2.5

For the first three rounds of the FA Cup, Watford were road warriors, but the Hornets did receive favorable draws. Watford posted three straight clean sheets in wins over sixth-division Woking, Newcastle United, and Queens Park Rangers prior to their quarterfinal clash with Crystal Palace. The Hornets beat the Eagles 2-1 in their toughest test yet prior to this week.

Wolverhampton have been giant killers all year long. Wolves beat Liverpool 2-1 in their first match of the competition and survived a scare from Shrewsbury Town in a replay the next round. They outlasted Bristol City 1-0 on the road before facing another Big Six club in the quarterfinals. Wolves counterattacked brilliantly once more to knock off United 2-1.

There are no injuries for Wolverhampton ahead of this match, but Watford are dealing with three. Tom Cleverley, Isaac Success, and Adalberto Penaranda have all been deemed questionable. In their one previous match this season, Watford knocked off Wolves 2-0 in Molineux Stadium thanks to goals from Etienne Capoue and Roberto Pereyra.

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FA Cup Semifinals Free Picks

There is a letdown, lookahead effect for Manchester City. The Citizens face Cardiff City on Wednesday in Premier League action, and they have to meet Tottenham Hotspur in their brand new stadium on Tuesday. I don’t think they lose, but I think they will have a big enough letdown to not cover against Brighton.

In Sunday’s match, I like Watford on the goal line. Wolves have a tougher time if they can’t sit back and counterattack, and Watford aren’t a team to constantly press. The Hornets are at home and already have a win over Wolves this season.

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