Sam Hendry looks ahead to a big weekend of football action
Manchester United appear to be at generous odds to beat Tottenham Hotspur and reach a record-equalling 20th FA Cup final on Saturday.
Much will depend on what United side decide to show up; the motivated and ruthless side that tore Manchester City apart in the second half of the Manchester derby, or the listless one that slumped to defeat last week against West Brom.
For all the criticism thrown Mourinho’s way this season, United remain on course for their highest Premier League finish since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson. No matter the style, Jose usually finds a way to win.
Spurs have had another eye-catching year and look set to finish as the highest placed London side, yet that could be their only accolade.
They have the advantage of having played at Wembley all season, but there will be a very different feel and atmosphere to this one and I feel it’s worth backing United to blunt the Spurs attack and sneak, almost under the radar, into the final and a chance at another trophy.
Revenge will be on Southampton’s mind in the other FA Cup semi-final when they meet Chelsea just a week after they capitulated to a 3-2 defeat to the same opponents in the league.
Mark Hughes hasn’t had the desired impact since his appointment as Saints boss, with his only victory thus far coming against Wigan in the quarter-finals of this tournament.
If Chelsea can play as poorly as they did in the first half last week and still come away with a win then
This FA Cup run is the only thing keeping Southampton supporters’ morale up as they lurch towards relegation, yet it would take a fool to bet against Antonio Conte guiding his team to another final and a Chelsea win with a -1 handicap is my bet here.
Sergio Aguero was this week named in the PFA Team of the Year for the first time, yet his injury means that Manchester City’s front line against Swansea will once again be led by Gabriel Jesus.
After a lengthy mid-season injury of his own, Jesus has slowly been regaining full fitness and two sharp finished in his last two games show his form is back as well.
While some teams may take their foot off the gas with the title already confirmed, there is little chance of Pep Guardiola allowing complacency to creep into City’s game as they chase down multiple Premier League records.
Swansea are still very much embroiled in the relegation battle and they will do well to avoid a battering here. Jesus to score first for the third game running looks a decent bet.