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Friday pressure briefing: Can Spurs end semi-final woes against Man Utd?

17:25 EAT 20/04/2018
Dele Alli Paul Pogba Tottenham Manchester United
With the Premier League all wrapped up, this weekend's FA Cup clashes see the pressure return as four teams hunt the final piece of silverware

Nobody could keep pace with Manchester City this season.

And so, this weekend three of the chasing pack will welcome some truly competitive action as they hunt the final piece of silverware up for grabs.

The FA Cup semi-finals will take centre-stage and two of the Premier League’s 'Big Six' go head-to-head in a potential classic.

It’s Manchester United versus Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday in an all-PL clash of the titans.

It will be United's 29th appearance in the FA Cup semi-finals – equalling Arsenal’s record set last season – and they may well go in narrow favourites considering Spurs’ recent struggles at this stage.

Tottenham have lost each of their last seven FA Cup semi-final ties – the longest such run in the competition’s history.

But Mauricio Pochettino’s side have the edge in momentum having won three of their last five meetings with United in all competitions (L2), as many as they had in their previous 36 against them.

Spurs are the highest scorers in this season’s FA Cup, netting 17 goals in their six games, and in Son Heung-min they have an FA Cup star: he has had a hand in 14 goals in his 15 FA Cup appearances (9 goals, 5 assists) – more than any other player in the competition over the past three seasons.

But United have one of their own in Alexis Sanchez, who has hit five goals in his four FA Cup games at Wembley Stadium, including the winning goals in both of his semi-final appearances.

The victors will face a stiff challenge in the final, however, either in the form of fellow 'Big Six' members Chelsea or relegation-threatened Southampton, who will likely face an uphill task at Wembley.

Chelsea have progressed to the final from 11 of their last 14 FA Cup semi-final matches, losing out only in 1996, 2006 and 2013.

Moreover, since losing 1-3 to Southampton at home in October 2015, Chelsea have gone on to win the following five games against them in all competitions.

But the London club have never won six in a row against the Saints, who have won four of their five FA Cup ties against Chelsea.

The stakes are high. The pressure is on.

The Goal Pressure Index is presented by Sure, Official Partner of Chelsea FC, Everton FC and Southampton FC. Join the conversation on Twitter @Sure.