The FA Cup semi-final draw

This week-end saw no shock result in the quarter-final ties with Chelsea winner at Doncaster and 3 home wins for Arsenal v Everton, Birmingham v Sunderland and Bristol v Blackburn.

The first semi-final will be played on the 15th of April on a neutral ground between Birmingham and Bristol. Looking forward to a tight encounter as both team have yet to concede a goal in their 3 official games played so far. Unless it goes to a penalty shoot-out with 0-0 someone will have to let one in. With all the firepower available on each side (Harding, Watts, Del Rio, Rose and Taylor, Aluko, Carney, Williams) the odds for a scoreless draw until the end of et must be like 50/1. So plenty of goals drama etc to expect for that semi-final.

The second semi-final will be played on the 29th of April between Chelsea and Arsenal. If you wonder why it is played 2 weeks later and not on the same day it is a planification problem.
Arsenal are in the champions league semi-final and those ties are played on the week-end of 14/15 and 21/22. As a side effect of those games the FA WSL game against Doncaster will be postponed till later. Same thing happened last year and Arsenal took advantage of it by beating Everton late in the season and win the title.

Funnily enough, there was a WSL game day planned as well on the 29th of April, so this meant another Arsenal game postponed to later making it a bit of a problem. If 5% of a team games are postponed it does slightly influence the title race but 15% is a lot more. Well funnily enough, the Arsenal game planned on the 29th of April will be played on the 26th against Chelsea…which means the cup game can be played on the 29th with no disruption to the WSL. A funny coincidence really but it does simplify things. So Chelsea and Arsenal will play each other twice in 3 days. At the Emirates Stadium and somewhere near Chelsea on a neutral ground. Those two games will be very different as pitch size and quality are likely to differ. Chelsea’s speedy forwards will have a lot of space to work on at the Emirates stadium. So if Chelsea can find consistency in their attacking play, it will be a very interesting game at the Emirates while the semi-final might be a different proposition.

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