IT’S being billed as the tie of the FA Cup fifth round but Sunday’s clash between Chelsea and Manchester City might disappoint and could turn out to be very one-sided.
As far as I can see there is only going to be one team motivated for this tie and that is the home side. Although they’ve been heavily backed in the build-up for this clash, even now at the 1.91 with most firms, I still think that is a price that should be taken and they are still one of the better bets on the FA Cup coupon weekend.
Chelsea produced their best performance of the season in the 2-1 defeat in Paris against PSG last week and despite that encouraging display they are still big outsiders to progress to the last eight of the Champions League. With the likelihood of a defeat in Europe this year’s FA Cup offers the Blues their best chance of silverware and they are expected to be at full-strength for this tie. For that reason the 1.91 should certainly be taken.
Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink is unbeaten at home since taking over from Jose Mourinho, the Dutchman will certainly want to win the FA Cup and I don’t think a trip to Wembley is a priority over at City. The only concern for me from having a maximum wager on Chelsea is the loss of key defenders John Terry and Kurt Zouma, but despite their absence they should still have enough to beat a City side that are expected to make a whole host of changes.
It’s been a disastrous couple of weeks in the Blue half of Manchester with two huge losses in the Premier League at home to Leicester and Tottenham and I just can’t see any way for them to bounce back to form with a win, even at the rather large looking 4.20 which is being offered by most bookies.
City has a chance to go far in this season’s Champions League and that has always been the number one priority at the Etihad and with a long trip to Ukraine to take on Dynamo Kiev on Wednesday that will certainly take precedence over this one.
The Blues have a good home Premier League record against City in recent years where they are unbeaten in their last five, but City did win 3-0 earlier in the season at the Etihad and they do have a 2-1 FA Cup win in 2013 when they made the final.
The team-news is going to be crucial for betting on this one, especially the starting XI that Manuel Pellegrini goes with, but if as expected the big guns are rested for the Champions League, then this could be surprisingly one-sided and at a huge 18.00 I’m taking Chelsea to ease to a 3-0 win with Paddy Power. This match looks the perfect opportunity for Hiddink to give a debut to his recent signing Alexandre Pato and the former AC Milan striker looks a nice price at 3.00 with the bookies to get his Chelsea career off to a flying start with goal in what could be a surprisingly easy afternoon’s work.