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Manchester City logo
FA Cup | Semi-Finals
Apr 20, 2024 at 5.15pm UK
Wembley Stadium
Chelsea logo

Man City
1 - 0

Silva (84')
Alvarez (58'), Petrovic (86')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Caicedo (45'), Foden (82'), De Bruyne (86'), Fernandez (86')

Preview: Manchester City vs. Chelsea - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's FA Cup clash between Manchester City and Chelsea, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Almost two months on from their EFL Cup final defeat, Chelsea return to Wembley Stadium for an FA Cup semi-final showdown with holders Manchester City on Saturday evening.

The victors of this all-Premier League clash will face the winners of the second semi-final tie between Championship outfit Coventry City and Manchester United.

Match preview

Manchester City players during the penalty shootout on April 17, 2024© Reuters

Man City's dreams of retaining their Champions League crown and celebrating an unprecedented double-treble are over, after they were dethroned as Europe's finest by a team described by Pep Guardiola as the 'kings of the competition' in 14-time winners Real Madrid.

A week on from their enthralling 3-3 first-leg draw in Spain, the Citizens were left frustrated as they were forced to play out a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday; Kevin De Bruyne cancelled out an early Rodrygo opener, but a resilient Los Blancos outfit sent the tie to penalties.

Although Luka Modric missed Real's first spot kick, both Bernardo Silva and Mateo Kovacic failed to convert from 12 yards, before Antonio Rudiger netted the decisive penalty to send City - who lacked a cutting edge in the final third despite boasting 33 shots, 68% possession and 18 corners prior to the shootout - packing at the quarter-final stage.

Guardiola rued his side's missed opportunities in the tie, but the second-leg draw in 90 minutes means that City have now equalled both their longest ever unbeaten run across all competitions (28 matches) and their longest ever unbeaten home run in all competitions (42 games).

The Citizens have little time to rest and regroup as they endeavour to end the season on a high by retaining two domestic trophies in the Premier League and FA Cup, starting with their record sixth successive appearance at the semi-final stage of the latter competition this weekend.

City, who have already beaten Huddersfield Town, Tottenham Hotspur, Luton Town and Newcastle United in this season's FA Cup, have interestingly lost three of their previous five matches at the semi-final stage, including one loss at the hands of Chelsea (1-0) in 2021. Guardiola and co have since put together an eight-game unbeaten run against the Blues, though, including six straight wins before back-to-back league draws earlier this season.

Chelsea's Cole Palmer celebrates scoring their fifth goal on April 15, 2024© Reuters

While Man City are tasked with dusting themselves down from a heartbreaking European exit, Chelsea enter Saturday's contest in buoyant mood after thrashing Everton 6-0 at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League on Monday - their biggest win to date since the arrival of head coach Mauricio Pochettino.

Former Citizens youngster Cole Palmer has drawn level with Erling Haaland on 20 goals at the top of the Premier League scoring charts after netting four times, including a 29-minute hat-trick, while Nicolas Jackson and Alfie Gilchrist were also on target against the Toffees to help the West Londoners strengthen their hopes of securing European football for next season.

Chelsea, who have not lost any of their last eight top-flight matches, capitalised on each of Wolverhampton Wanderers, Brighton & Hove Albion, West Ham United and Manchester United dropping points last weekend and have subsequently climbed up to ninth in the table, just three points behind sixth-placed Newcastle who have played a game more.

A challenging and potentially defining run of fixtures over the next few weeks awaits the Blues, who follow up Saturday's FA Cup clash against Man City with a trio of Premier League London derbies against Arsenal, Tottenham and West Ham - Chelsea have won just two of their last 15 games against these four teams combined since the start of last season.

Chelsea, who have battled past Preston North End, Aston Villa, Leeds United and Leicester City in this season's FA Cup, are now gearing up for their 27th FA Cup semi-final - only Man United (32) and Arsenal (30) have competed at this stage on more occasions in the competition's history - but the Blues have been eliminated from five of their last seven FA Cup ties against Man City, including a humbling 4-0 loss in the third round last season.

Manchester City FA Cup form:

Manchester City form (all competitions):

Chelsea FA Cup form:

Chelsea form (all competitions):

Team News

Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne celebrates scoring against Real Madrid on April 16, 2024© Reuters

Man City trio De Bruyne, Haaland and Manuel Akanji will all be assessed ahead of kickoff after they asked to be taken off prior to the penalty shootout in midweek as "they could not continue". Guardiola has since provided a positive update on De Bruyne, but Haaland has emerged as a doubt with a niggling muscle issue.

Kyle Walker is also set to be assessed after playing the full 120 minutes on his first start since recovering from a hamstring problem, while John Stones and Nathan Ake, who have both recently recovered from injury, are in contention to play in some capacity this weekend.

Stefan Ortega, who has started all four FA Cup ties for Man City this season, could replace Ederson between the sticks, while ex-Chelsea man Kovacic and Julian Alvarez will be looking to force their way into the first XI.

As for Chelsea, Reece James, Lesley Ugochukwu (both hamstring), Wesley Fofana (knee), Romeo Lavia (thigh) and Levi Colwill (toe) all remain sidelined with injuries, while Cesare Casadei is cup-tied after representing Leicester on loan earlier this season.

Raheem Sterling, Robert Sanchez (both illness), Axel Disasi and Enzo Fernandez (both unspecified) all missed Monday's win over Everton and will be assessed ahead of kickoff, as will Christopher Nkunku (hamstring) who has returned to partial team training.

A start for in-form attacker Palmer is inevitable against his former club, but whether he operates as a number 10 or on the right flank could depend on Fernandez's availability; should the Argentine pass a late fitness test, he would be expected to start alongside Moises Caicedo in midfield, allowing Conor Gallagher to play further forward.

Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Ortega; Walker, Stones, Dias, Ake; Rodri; Foden, De Bruyne, Alvarez, Doku; Haaland

Chelsea possible starting lineup:
Petrovic; Gusto, Chalobah, Silva, Chilwell; Caicedo, Fernandez; Palmer, Gallagher, Sterling; Jackson

SM words green background

We say: Manchester City 2-1 Chelsea

Chelsea's positive performance against Everton and recent league meetings with Man City should provide Pochettino's men with confidence heading into Saturday's FA Cup tie, and having scored at least two goals in each of their last eight games in all competitions, the Blues will fancy their chances of breaching the Citizens' leaky backline.

However, we expect a response from Guardiola and co, who will be determined to avoid elimination from two competitions in the space of just four days. If City are at full strength, they should find a way to come out on top and secure their spot in the final.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola reacts on April 17, 2024
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