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Chelsea

C Palace

FA CupVS
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After being given a herculean task to complete in the Champions League, Chelsea almost managed to do just thatt and after taking Real Madrid to extra time in the Santiago Bernabeu, the Blues’ grip on the trophy has now been relinquished.

Now though, they must focus on the final piece of silverware on offer and with Crystal Palace standing in the way of them and a place in this season’s FA Cup final, one wonders if additional minutes in Spain ends up being their undoing on Sunday.

Continue reading for our full match preview and expert football betting tips.

MarketPrediction
Match OddsC Palace
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Crystal Palace To Win

Everyone loves an FA Cup upset, there is absolutely no doubt about that, and I have had absolutely no doubts after looking at all the biggest and best online betting websites before the weekend.

Because with Chelsea having played an additional 30 minutes in the Champions League and being knocked out in the process, I have a feeling that this will play into Crystal Palace’s hands at Wembley.

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Which means another FA Cup upset looms on the horizon on Sunday and if you want to join me in backing Patrick Vieria’s men to reach the final, you can back this outcome at odds of 21/4 (bet365).
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Chelsea Form, squad news, opinion

After putting six goals past Southampton last weekend, any suggestions that Chelsea’s demise had begun were somewhat premature and with that being the perfect tune up for a trip to Madrid, the next step was to salvage their participation in the Champions League.

A step that ended up being just one too many and after taking a sensational 3-0 lead in the Spanish capital, they were then undone by goals from Rodrygo and Karim Benzema in both normal and extra time.

Despair for the Blues, but now they must dust themselves off rather quickly and with the season promising so much just a couple of months ago, a potential quadruple is now going to be a single trophy at best.

Something that Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel would not have anticipated at the start of the campaign and after leading his West London charges to last season’s FA Cup final, the German will be looking to do exactly the same in 2022.

Because after two embarrassing defeats to Real Madrid and Brentford, they have since scored nine goals in 180 minutes of football and for those Crystal Palace’s supporters that have caught a glimpse of them lately, this will be something of a warning sign for Sunday.

In terms of injuries and suspensions for the clash with Crystal Palace, manager Thomas Tuchel only has one long-term absence to deal with and that is ruptured cruciate ligament of defender Ben Chilwell.

Crystal Palace Form, squad news, opinion

Although Crystal Palace will be the rank outsiders for this FA Cup semi-final, they are still here on merit and with their run in this competition being a rather impressive one, manager Patrick Vieria will not want it to end this weekend.

Because with the Eagles being outside the select group of seven or eight teams who have genuine European aspirations, it means this competition would facilitate an invite from UEFA should they win it.

Something that would be a remarkable transformation at Selhurst Park and with many tipping the South London outfit for relegation from the Premier League, Patrick Vieria has made a lot of people look rather silly,

If only because the transition that many expected to be painful, is one that has been nothing of the sort and with a top-half league finish also on the agenda, progress is being made a lot quicker than expected.

Which begs the question as to where Palace can go from here and if they can return to Wembley next month, then pulling off another relative FA Cup shock against either Manchester City or Liverpool is not out of the question either.

In terms of injuries and suspensions for the clash with Chelsea, there are no issues for Patrick Vieria to deal with and although he would love to have a full squad for this Sunday, he must do without midfielder Conor Gallagher.

Not through injury or suspension, but due to the terms of his loan switch from Chelsea, which means he is unavailable for selection.

History

When it comes to the history of Chelsea and Crystal Palace, it is the Blues who have come out on top more often than not and although this is not the most heated of London derbies, there will certainly be a lot of tension at Wembley this weekend.

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In terms of their overall head-to-head record, Chelsea have won on 33 occasions, Crystal Palace 12 and there have been 15 draws.

About the Venue

Wembley Stadium opened in 1923 and previously could hold up to anywhere approaching 100,000 spectators. However, the stadium was redeveloped and then reopened in 2007, where it now has a capacity of 89,874 for football events.

Of course, the biggest of those events is the FA Cup final and although some critics suggest that the semi-finals should be played elsewhere, it does at least give supporters an early glimpse of English football’s majestic home.

Conclusion

There is no doubt that Chelsea will come into this game as favourites, but the FA Cup has a habit of ignoring the formbook and this is something that manager Thomas Tuchel will have to constantly remind himself of.

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While Crystal Palace will make the short trip to Wembley with nothing in the way of expectation and with this being something of a free hit in terms of outcome, who knows what the score will be at the end of Sunday afternoon.
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