It’s semi-final weekend! Four teams remain in this season’s edition of the FA Cup and we have two very interesting semi-finals ahead of us. FA Cup matches are shown live by TV broadcasters BT Sport and BBC One and with match highlights available free on BBC Sport with Match of the Day. Need an FA Cup VPN?
Growing up there was always something magical about the cup. Third round Saturday was something I’ll never forget, and the excitement that would build if your team could have a good cup run would overcome any feelings towards whatever was going on in the League. Before Manchester United tarnished the competition by heading off to play in the World Club Championship in 2000, a decision motivated solely by money, the FA Cup was seen as equally as important as the League title or any European event. The creation of the Premier League and Champions League to replace the old Division 1 and European Cup had certainly began a shift but the FA Cup still held its own. Fun Fact: FA Cup VPN is one of the most searched terms on Google.
The FA Cup. The magic of it. It’s here this weekend. And it’s Semi-Final weekend, so we’re right down to the business end of the competition. Two games over two days, controversially still played at Wembley; who’s up for the cup?
⚽ Chelsea vs Manchester City
📅 Saturday 17 April 2021
⏰ 1730 UK Kick-Off
🖥️ BBC Sport Live Streaming
First, on Saturday at 5.30pm, Chelsea will take on Manchester City in what should be a fascinating tactical battle between two managers who got to know each other very well a couple of years ago. It will be the sixth time that Pep Guardiola and Thomas Tuchel have come up against each other, but the first time they do so outside of Germany.
When Guardiola first joined Bayern, for the 13/14 season, Tuchel was managing 1. FSV Mainz 05 and leading them to a 7th place finish and qualification for the Europa League. Tuchel would step down as manager of Die Nullfünfer after the season but not before losing twice to Pep’s mighty Bayern side who went on to win the title by 19 points. After a year away from football Tuchel was appointed manager of Borussia Dortmund and tasked with overcoming Bayern. The sides met three times that season, with the first ending in a 5-1 embarrassment for Tuchel. The following two games ended in scoreless draws, with the final game being the Final of the DFB Pokal, the German equivalent of the FA Cup. Bayern would triumph on penalties and though Tuchel can claim a record of two draws and three defeats in his five meetings with Pep based on 90 minute matches, his official record is one draw and four defeats. He will be desperate to get his first win over Pep this weekend.
Chelsea have looked a far more impressive outfit under his management than they did under Frank Lampard and, with the exception of the capitulation against West Brom, they have a largely unblemished record under his watch. In 18 games in charge, he has overseen 12 wins and 4 draws. The defeats came against West Brom, and in the Champions League quarter-final second leg against Porto. They qualified for the semi-final despite that victory so it likely won’t bother Tuchel too much. Defensively they’ve looked very good since he took over, conceding only nine goals. That figure is even more impressive when you factor in that they conceded five of them in one match.
Tuchel will likely be concerned by their struggles in front of goal though, with only 25 goals scored in the 18 games. They’ve managed only two or more goals only nine times, once in a defeat and once against a mid-table Championship team. That’s not ideal when you’re about to take on a Manchester City team with a half dozen players capable of scoring goals in any game.
City come into this game as the Champions-elect in the Premier League and with their eyes firmly set on a historic quadruple. Pep Guardiola has turned an injury to Sergio Aguero into an opportunity to further push the tactical boundaries and create a position-less attacking system that sees five players in constant motion with the ball never stopping as they manipulate defences and punish errors in ruthless fashion.
What is largely a throwback to the pre-Alf Ramsey days of the WM system has seen City romp through the league, the Champions League and the domestic cups since finding form in late November. With Joao Cancelo stepping out from left back to join Rodri in a double pivot in front of a flexed back three of Kyle Walker, Ruben Dias and either John Stones or Aymeric Laporte, City have a platform of solidity as well as two excellent passers of the ball who are always available to recycle possession when attacks break down. Ahead of them Kevin DeBruyne and Ilkay Gundogan, the two best performing players in the Premier League this season, lead the way in terms of creativity and goals with their intelligence, movement, use of the ball and timing all coming to the fore. Riyad Mahrez, Bernardo Silva, Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling have largely been rotated in the front three spots, though Gabriel Jesus and, to a lesser extent, Aguero have both been used in games where Pep has wanted a more traditional approach in attack.
Since losing to Spurs on November 21st Manchester City have played 35 games in all competitions, winning 30 and drawing three. One of their defeats came last weekend to Leeds, in a game Guardiola rotated heavily for. It’s an incredible run of form and the football they have played has been fantastic, at times breathtaking. Gundogan and DeBruyne are both operating at a truly elite level right now and teams have struggled to find a solution to stopping the tandem. DeBruyne has eight goals and 16 assists in 33 appearances this season, Gundogan has 16 goals and four assists in 36 appearances. You’d be hard pressed to find a team anywhere in Europe with two players having seasons as good as these two, not just in terms of production but also performance. Every single week, they turn in top class showings and with DeBruyne having just signed a new long term contract it can’t be long before Gundogan gets offered improved terms to stick around at City.
With these two on opposite sides of the Champions League semi-final draw, this game could serve as a dress rehearsal for a potential Champions League final meeting in Istanbul on May 29th.
⚽ Leicester vs Southampton
📅 Sunday 18 April 2021
⏰ 1830 UK Kick-Off
🖥️ BT Sport Live Streaming
Sunday’s game is less glamorous but also comes with an interesting plot-line as Brendan Rodgers and Ralph Hasenhuttl occupy the dugouts.
Southampton are in the midst of a horrible of form in the Premier League have lost 11 of their last 14 games. This FA Cup run, which has seen them overcome Shrewsbury, Arsenal, Wolves and Bournemouth has been the only bright spot for the south coast club since beating Liverpool back on January 4th. Funnily, the lost to Arsenal and Wolves in league matches played just days after those FA Cups games. Would they swap the wins they got in the Cup for wins in the Premier League? It probably depends on how this Sunday goes.
Southampton’s terrible run includes a 9-0 walloping suffered at the hands of Manchester United, the second time in 18 months that they lost a Premier League game by that score. Their opponents the first time? Leicester City. Saints were a fairly pathetic outfit when Brendan Rodgers men hammered at St. Mary’s but that game seemed to stir something within them and a few weeks later they began to turn their season around. They would go on to take more points than Leicester over the remaining 28 games of the season and began this season looking like a team with real Europa League ambitions. They were very briefly top of the table! They had turned it around. From looking a cert for relegation as they lost 9-0 to Leicester to 6th placed 14 months later as they beat Champions Liverpool, it was the biggest turnaround by a team since Leicester narrowly escaped relegation and then went and won the title the next season!
And then the wheels fell off.
Their opponents this weekend will be in no mood to let Southampton have a chance at salvaging their season with a Cup final appearance. Brendan Rodgers wants silverware, and his team will believe that they have the quality to overcome Chelsea or City in the final if they get there.
Leicester are the only team in the Premier League to have not finished a matchday outside the top four all season and though their recent form has been a bit concerning they will go into this game as strong favourites, despite injuries to key players like James Justin and Harvey Barnes. Brendan Rodgers team always play attractive football but this Leicester team has a defensive doggedness to them that predates Rodgers and makes them arguably the most complete team he’s ever taken charge of. Caglar Soyuncu and Jonny Evans are one of the better central defensive pairings in the league, while Wesley Fofana has been an excellent addition and offers great promise for the future. With Wilf Ndidi patrolling in front of them, it’s a well protected defence that gives the team a strong platform to attack from.
Both games promise to be entertaining, and it may well be Sunday’s offering that proves to be the better game if Southampton can continue to outperform their league form in this cup run.
These are just some of the games available to you in the FA Cup this weekend. With so many games to choose from, the worry is wasting time on the wrong game. We’ll try and guide you in the right direction so that all you need to do is sit back, turn on your Liberty Shield VPN, settle in, and enjoy the games.
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How to watch every FA Cup match from anywhere…
FA Cup VPN matches for the 2020/21 season will be streamed live between BT Sport and the BBC Sport website, as well as their respective apps for iPhone, iPad, Android, Smart TV, Now TV, FireTV etc.
But these streaming services are not available to everyone, for example when you load BT Sport in the USA, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, France, Spain, Portugal, Australia, Dubai, Canada etc. you will get an error message.
Sorry, this video is not available in your country.
This is basically because their streaming services are geoblocked based on the IP address being used to access it. You must be a UK domestic web user to access BT Sport and BBC Sport live tv streaming.
- Get a UK IP address.
- If you want to watch on your Windows PC, Mac, FireTV, iPhone, iPad or Android then you can get a UK Proxy or VPN Apps from Liberty Shield, FREE for 48 hours and then from only £6.99 per month.
- Prefer to watch on supported media streaming devices like Now TV, Smart TVs, Apple TV, Xbox, PS4, Roku etc? You’ll need a UK configured VPN Router setup as British, available from only £19.99 with Worldwide Shipping available.
How can I watch BT Sport FA Cup VPN 20/21 matches live?
As well as the FA Cup VPN, BT Sport has the rights to just over 50 Premier League fixtures during the 2020/21 campaign, and will also carry coverage of the UEFA Champions’ League and Europa League until 2024. Subscribers can watch BT Sport on their computers as well as their various apps on connected devices. They do offer a Monthly Pass with no contract, which will give customers access to the BT Sport mobile app. BT Sport Box Office will no longer show the matches via the now scrapped pay-per-view offering, but is it too late and have customers already moved towards illegal streams and IPTV providers?
Remember that BT Sport also features coverage from the Bundesliga, and holds rights to Moto GP, UFC and WWE coverage as well. After a long delay the BT Sport app is now available on several models of Smart TV as well as Roku and Amazon Fire TV devices.
How can I watch BBC Sport FA Cup VPN 20/21 matches live?
With Premier League Pay-Per-View now scrapped, the BBC gets their live action once again through their FA Cup rights. They also offer free FA Cup and Premier League VPN 20/21 highlights, with Match of the Day and Match of the Day 2, available live when screened on the BBC Sport website, and also on catchup with BBC iPlayer.
Furthermore; BT Sport and BBC Sport aren’t the only geographically-censored streaming services a VPN or Proxy will allow you to access. Other UK services like Sky Sports, Now TV, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, ITV Hub, All 4 and BritBox are available. Plus with the option to switch to our USA service whenever you like, you can access Hulu, HBO GO, Netflix and Pandora. Essentially you can access international content from virtually anywhere!