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FA Cup semifinals give Arsenal, Liverpool chance to do better in league 

19 Apr, 2024 21:15 IST|Sakshi Post

London, April 19 (IANS) The FA Cup semifinals involving Manchester City against Chelsea and Manchester United versus Coventry City mean there is a truncated round of matches in the Premier League this weekend. Manchester City have very little time to recover from 120 minutes of football and the disappointment of a Champions League defeat to Real Madrid on penalties before facing Chelsea.

City will have doubts over the fitness of Kevin de Bruyne and Erling Haaland after both had to be substituted against Real Madrid, although coach Pep Guardiola will have John Stones and Julian Alvarez fit after they only played the closing minutes of the game.

Former Manchester City forward Cole Palmer is Chelsea's main threat. The 21-year-old has 20 goals in the Premier League (including four against Everton on Monday) and two in the FA Cup, reports Xinhua.

The Cup is Chelsea's last chance to win a title this year and their only chance of qualifying for Europe next season after a wildly inconsistent campaign.

The FA Cup also looks to be Manchester United's best chance of getting into Europe and they will be favourites against Championship (second division) Coventry City in Sunday's second semifinal. Coventry are pushing for the play-offs in the Championship and have to be taken seriously after knocking Wolverhampton out in the quarterfinals as they look for a repeat of their historic 1987 Cup final win.

The semifinals give Arsenal a chance to get over their Champions League exit to Bayern Munich by going back to the top of the Premier League when they visit Wolves on Saturday evening. Mikel Arteta's side also have very little recovery time following their defeat in Germany and that could be a factor as tiredness kicks in against a well-organized rival that will be able to once again pair strikers Hwang Hee-chan and Matheus Cunha in the attack.

Liverpool travel to Fulham on Sunday afternoon with their season in danger of deflating after last Sunday's defeat at home to Crystal Palace was followed by Thursday's Europa League exit away to Atalanta. Jurgen Klopp's side have looked exhausted in recent games and Sunday's visit to South London will show what - if anything - they have left in their legs.

West Ham also went out of Europe on Thursday night and David Moyes' side also need to pick themselves up for the short trip to play Crystal Palace. Palace's win at Anfield last weekend lifted them eight points clear of the relegation zone and another win will mean they stay in the elite for another year.

Aston Villa are the only English survivors in Europe, and they will strengthen their grip on fourth place if they can win away to in-form Bournemouth, who only have pride at stake between now and the end of the campaign. Luton's survival hopes rest on them taking three points from their home game against Brentford, who currently sit seven points above them in the league. A win for Luton would lift them above Nottingham Forest and Everton, who face each other at Goodison Park on Sunday in what promises to be a desperate battle.

Any chance second-from-bottom Burnley have of avoiding relegation depends on them winning away to rock-bottom Sheffield United, who have drawn three of their last five games.

Disclaimer: This story has not been edited by the Sakshi Post team and is auto-generated from syndicated feed.

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