FA Cup Semi-Finals 2014…this weekends news
It’s the FA Cup Semi-Finals 2014 this weekend, here’s news ahead of the two ties……starting with
Wigan Athletic v Arsenal
Arsenal risk another Wembley embarrassment if they take FA Cup semi-final opponents Wigan Athletic too lightly this weekend, according to David Seaman.
The former England and Arsenal number one is well aware what it would mean to the Gunners’ fans to make the Final and then go on to pick up their first piece of silverware in nine years.
But he insists Arsene Wenger’s team will have to be wary of making the same mistakes as they did against Birmingham City in the League Cup Final three years ago.
Wigan have been there before and done the business, beating Manchester City in last year’s final, so it’s not a given.
They were ridiculed for taking that game far too lightly, and ultimately paid the price when the Blues scored a dramatic late winner to lift the trophy.
And Seaman feels Wigan have already proved they will be no pushovers after winning the FA Cup last season.
He insists: “This is our best chance since that defeat to Birmingham. We have not won a trophy while being at the Emirates, so to get through and to win the final would be amazing.
“But Wigan have been there before and done the business, beating Manchester City in last year’s final, so it’s not a given.”
Hull City v Sheffield United
Steve Bruce accepts he must soon make “horrible and nasty” decisions as he draws up his Hull City side to face Sheffield United in this weekend’s FA Cup semi-final.
The Tigers are on the final countdown to one of the biggest games in their history as Sunday’s date at Wembley offers the chance to reach a first major final.
Changes are guaranteed from the starting XI that beat Swansea City 1-0 on Saturday, a result that almost certainly secured Premier League survival, with both Nikica Jelavic and Shane Long cup-tied.
Tom Huddlestone’s likely return from a back injury will also require a third player to drop out. Bruce is unlikely to make any final decisions on his FA Cup side until the eve of the game when the Tigers travel to the capital.
Sheffield United’s Ben Davies will be hoping to make it third time lucky this weekend, when Sheffield United face Hull in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.
Davies, the on-loan Derby County man, has experienced heartbreak at the home of English football twice before, at former club Shrewsbury.
The 32-year-old helped Shrewsbury to the 2007 play-off final at Wembley, but ruptured his achilles in the final seconds of the semi-final against Preston North End and missed their final defeat.
After six months out, he returned and helped the Shrews reach the 2009 play-off final – where they lost 1-0 to Gillingham, in the dying moments of normal time.
“It’s not a nice place to lose,” Davies, who scored a late penalty on Tuesday as Nigel Clough’s side beat promotion-chasing rivals Rotherham United, said.
“Everyone grows up dreaming of playing there, but luckily a few lads here have experienced playing at Wembley before so they can go and concentrate on beating Hull City.
“When you first drive up Wembley Way, and see the stadium for the first time, then you can be a little bit gobsmacked.
“But if you think too much about it, you’ll find yourself emotionally shattered, before the game’s even kicked off. “We’ve got to stay relaxed, because we’re more than capable of beating Hull.”
At 32, Davies was the elder statesman of a much-changed United side against Rotherham, which boasted an average age of just over 22.
Amongst those to impress was 18-year-old academy graduate Connor Dimaio, who shone in the absence of captain Michael Doyle.
“One thing the young lads here can be sure of, is that they will get a chance under the gaffer,” Davies, who worked with Clough at Derby, added.
“Connor was late to the ground and had to run the last bit of the journey; he had a bit of a sweat on, and the gaffer had to calm him down!
“He just told him to get his tackles in, but he was better than that and started spraying balls around.
“If they can travel with us on Sunday, that’ll give them even more experience but for us, it’s just about ensuring we don’t pick up any late injuries.
“Come 4.07pm on Sunday, we want to be bang at it and ready to go.”
Arsenal are 10/1 to win the semi-final 3-0, with Mikel Arteta available at 10/1 to be the first goalscorer.
The Latics can be backed at 7/1 to win the FA Cup outright, while the Gunners are 4/9.
Hull City are 4/6 to win the semi-final, with Yannick Sagbo 8/1 to be the first goalscorer.
The Blades are 7/2 to win or 16/1 to take the FA Cup outright, while City are 4/1.
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