FA Cup Semi Finals & Premier League Tips And Betting Preview

By Ian John
April 20, 2023

The following week to 10-days, beginning from this Friday night, could be the most pivotal week in the Premier League and domestic season in England.

It all starts this weekend with a top v bottom clash on Friday night as Arsenal take on Southampton in a game which is pretty much a must-win game for both in the Premier League.

Then on Saturday and Sunday we have both the FA Cup Semi Finals taking place at Wembley. First up we have Manchester City taking on Sheffield United from the Championship in the Saturday game, followed by a repeat of the 1983 FA Cup Final as Brighton and Hove Albion face Manchester United in the second semi.

On the same two days we have a number of key games in the Premier League too, many of which will have a major impact on teams at the bottom of the table with games such as Fulham v Leeds, Crystal Palace v Everton, Leicester v Wolves, Liverpool v Nottingham Forest and Bournemouth v West Ham all having implications for teams involved in that relegation dogfight.

And on Sunday we also have a crucial battle in the run for a Champions League spot as Newcastle United host Tottenham at St James’ Park in what should be a hugely entertaining game.

You can enjoy a wide range of bets on all these games over the course of the weekend, starting with the Arsenal game on Friday night, with bet365 Sport which offers pre-match and In Play betting across all the games.

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Let’s now begin our preview and tips of the action this weekend starting with the two FA Cup Semi Final ties, which are being played at Wembley this weekend.

All Kick Off times shown below are 3pm unless otherwise stated and all odds shown were correct with bet365 Sport at the time of writing but may change in the meantime.

FA Cup Semi Finals

Saturday 22nd April

Manchester City v Sheffield United (4.45pm)

Manchester City come into this game having defeated Bayern Munich 4-1 on aggregate in the Champions League quarterfinals, which kind of gives us an appreciation of the scale of the challenge that Championship promotion chasers Sheffield United face on Saturday night.

The Blades need just one more win from their final four games to confirm their place in the Premier League next season and you would be forgiven for excusing manager Paul Heckingbottom feeling that this is his teams main focus over the rest of the season.

Similarly, Manchester City fans will have their eyes firmly set on another Premier League title and a first Champions League, but the chance to match Manchester United’s treble in the 1999/2000 season is also a mouth-watering prospect for City fans too.

I honestly can’t see any way that Sheffield United win this game. City should be far, far too strong. City have won the last four between the two teams without conceding but did lose the last FA Cup game between the two, but that was back in the fourth round in 2008.

Tip – Manchester City 4-0 Sheffield United – 8/1

Sunday 23rd April

Brighton & Hove Albion v Manchester United (4.30pm)

These two teams met in the 1983 Final, when after a 2-2 draw, when Gordon Smith spurned a great chance to win the FA Cup for Brighton in the final minute of extra time, United won the replay convincingly 4-0.

They have met twice in the FA Cup since then, with United winning n both occasions in 1993 and 2018, but in their two most recent matches, Brighton have earned wins over United including a 4-0 win at the Amex in May 2022 followed by a 2-1 win at Old Trafford in August 2022.

Brighton have just five wins in 29 games against United but that hasn’t deterred the bookmakers who have the Seagulls as the 6/4 favourites to win the game. A fact that I find staggering when you compare the expectations and budgets of both teams.

My gut feeling here is that we may well need extra time and even penalties to decide the winner here, hence my pick for the draw at 90 minutes.

Tip – Brighton 2-2 Manchester United – 11/1

Premier League

Friday 21st April

Arsenal v Southampton (8pm)

Arsenal’s two draws in their past two games has seen Manchester City close right up on them ahead of the game between the two on Wednesday night next week, which makes this game against bottom placed Southampton a must win for both teams. Arsenal has home advantage and they know they cannot afford any more slip-ups here and in truth, I don’t expect them to do so against the poorest team in the Premier League this season.

Tip – Arsenal 3-1 Southampton – 11/1

Saturday 22nd April

Fulham v Leeds United (12.30pm)

Fulham got back to winning ways at Everton last week and they face a Leeds team that has conceded 11 goals in their last two home games to Crystal Palace and Liverpool. The Elland Road side badly need a win here to steady the ship but Fulham is a tricky place to go and after that win at Goodison Park last week, I think the home side land the win here too.

Tip – Fulham 2-0 Leeds United – 12/1

Brentford v Aston Villa

Aston Villa are absolutely flying in the Premier League at the minute, as their 3-0 win against Newcastle last weekend clearly shows. Unai Emery has transformed the fortunes of the team since taking over and he has also got Ollie Watkins in devastating form in front of goal. Brentford are a very tough side to beat at home though, but I think this Villa team is playing so well that they can do precisely that here.

Tip – Brentford 1-2 Aston Villa – 11/1

Crystal Palace v Everton

Roy Hodgson’s impact at Crystal Palace has been huge as he has led the team to three successive wins since taking over, two of those on the road, which has seen Palace move away from immediate danger into 12th in the table, nine points clear of the relegation spots and also their opponents today, Everton. The Toffees have lost their last two and this has now become a very tough game for them here and I can’t back them to break Palace’s fine run of form here.

Tip – Crystal Palace 2-0 Everton – 9/1

Leicester City v Wolverhampton Wanderers

I have kept saying Leicester City should be too good to go down, but at the moment, they are playing like relegation certainties. Wolves though have found some form and after two wins and a draw in their last three games, they are now lying 13th, 7 points away from the relegation places. I feel that could well be more after this game on Saturday as I am backing the visitors to come away with the points here.

Tip – Leicester City 0-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers – 8/1

Liverpool v Nottingham Forest

Liverpool’s frankly weird Jekyll and Hyde season continued last week with a 6-1 away win at Leeds United in what Jurgen Klopp called their best performance of the season. They face a Nottingham Forest side who have lost four of their last five to drop into the drop zone on goal difference behind Everton. Liverpool should be confident after their Leeds win, and they should land the win here given their good home record.

Tip – Liverpool 3-0 Nottingham Forest – 13/2

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Sunday 23rd April

Bournemouth v West Ham United (2pm)

Both these teams have had better performances and results in their last four games, West Ham winning two and drawing one, Bournemouth winning three and losing the other. Those points have seen them move out of immediate danger with the teams six and four points away from the relegation zone respectively. I think both sides will feel not losing this game is more important perhaps than winning it and as such, I think we may see something of a stalemate here.

Tip – Bournemouth 0-0 West Ham – 8/1

Newcastle United v Tottenham Hotspur (2pm)

Newcastle will be looking to bounce back after last weekend’s surprise 3-0 loss away to Aston Villa. Spurs too also need a boost after their shocking home loss to Bournemouth but St James’ Park is not the place to try and put things right. Newcastle were uncharacteristically poor at Villa last week and I expect them to put that right here against a Tottenham side that are lacking organisation, self-belief and a bit of character at the moment.

Tip – Newcastle United 3-1 Tottenham – 14/1

Check back next week as we will have a preview of the midweek set of Premier League games coming up across Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday night’s, which includes a potential title decider between Manchester City and Arsenal!

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