FA Cup Semi-Final: Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur – Can Spurs Make Home Advantage Count in Wembley Clash?
Of the two remaining ties, the battle between United and Spurs is the obvious highlight, with the successful team having the chance to face either Southampton or Chelsea in the Wembley final on Saturday May 19. League form goes out of the window when cup games come around and this early Saturday evening clash – kick-off: 17:30 – has all the hallmarks of a potentially classic encounter.
United have yet to concede a single goal in their path to the FA Cup Semi Final stage after wins over Derby County, Yeovil Town, Huddersfield Town and Brighton and Hove Albion, scoring ten goals in the process.
Tottenham, by contrast have required two attempts to overcome lower league opposition in Newport County and Rochdale in Rounds Four and Five. Normal service was resumed at the Quarter Final stage, as Spurs comfortably despatched Swansea City 3-0 at the Liberty Stadium to set-up the mouth-watering clash with United at the weekend.
In any normal Semi-Final on a neutral stage, the Match Betting between the two sides would be much closer than the bookmakers have priced up this fixture, due to Spurs effectively, having home advantage after spending the whole campaign at Wembley while their new stadium is being built adjacent to their old White Hart Lane ground.
Tottenham are a best price of 5/4 with bet365 and William Hill to return for their first FA Cup Final since 1991. A United victory within ninety minutes and the Draw are virtually the same odds as MarathonBet offer 127/50 for the Red Devils to have the opportunity to win two Cup Finals in the last two years, while the Draw is a top price of 5/2 – again with MarathonBet.
Both teams have shown indifferent form in recent weeks, none more so than United with their almost unbelievable 3-2 comeback win against Manchester City, followed up with an abject 1-0 home defeat to almost relegated, West Bromwich Albion, just eight days later.
Spurs were knocked out of the Champions League by Juventus last month, then fought back from that disappointment with four wins, however, a defeat to Manchester City followed by a draw against Brighton on Tuesday evening sees them looking sluggish coming into this tie.
My belief is that from a betting angle, the value is with United for this game at a fraction over 5/2. However, I’m far from confident it is winning value. Tottenham eased to a 2-0 Wembley league win over United back in January but 5/4 is a little on the short side in a massive cup game. Wembley will not be the home venue Spurs have come to expect on Saturday afternoon with 30,000+ United fans in full voice, so a draw after ninety minutes could well be the play here.
Individual Goal Scorers
England striker, Harry Kane heads the betting in the First Goalscorer market at the best price of 69/20 with MarathonBet. Kane has yet to hit top form since returning from an ankle injury, but the opportunity to reach his first FA Cup Final could galvanise Tottenham’s leading scorer.
Fellow Spurs man, Son Heung-Min is a 33/5 shot to open the scoring – again with MarathonBet, while United’s first notable interest in this market is with Belgian striker, Romelu Lukaku at 13/2 with Boylesports. Lukaku was benched in the game with Bournemouth, so he is likely to be primed for a return in the Wembley encounter.
Others of note in this market comes United pair, Marcus Rashford and Alexis Sanchez, who are both priced up at 8/1 generally available (Rashford) and for Sanchez, with Irish firm, Boylesports. Further interest for Spurs should be aimed towards, Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen who can be taken at a widely available 9/1 for Alli, while MarathonBet customers can take advantage of 10/1 for the Dane, Eriksen.
Other Side Bets
The main bet of interest for me in the whole game is Both Teams to Score. Tottenham will obviously look to try and get on the front foot from the outset, but United themselves will certainly pose a strong attacking threat. This contest looks an obvious choice for BTTS and 10Bet along with Sport Pesa are offering the juicy odds of 4/5 for it. Take advantage.
Our Correct Score offering for this game is hardly an inspiring selection as it is the shortest price in the whole market. However, the 6/1 on offer with William Hill and SportingBet for a 1-1 stalemate is worthy of interest. Neither side will wish for extra-time, but these two teams look difficult to split in my view.