Listening Report: 2015 FA Cup Semi-finals

success breeds successThis weekend sees the 2015 FA Cup semi-finals taking place at Wembley Stadium and in this week’s listening report we take a look at the two games and try and predict the finalists. You can listen to the report by clicking on the link below, while vocabulary support (in bold) appears at the foot of the post.

Reading vs Arsenal

This last four tie seems fairly simple to predict. Championship side Reading currently lie in 18th place in the table only just above the relegation spots, while opponents Arsenal are on a run of 8 consecutive wins and are second in the Premier League. But the FA Cup has thrown up its share of surprises over the years and many neutrals who will be supporting the Royals will be hoping for another cup upset this weekend. The club has never won the trophy but did reach the semi-final way back in 1927 and they’ll have to hope that current holders Arsenal have an off-day for any chance of a win. The heart says Reading but the head definitely says Arsenal.

Liverpool vs Aston Villa

On paper this looks like a Liverpool victory as the Reds sit 10 places and 25 points ahead of semi-final rivals Aston Villa. However, Villa have hit some form under new manager Tim Sherwood in recent weeks as they fight to move away from the relegation battle. Their Belgian striker Benteke has scored 8 goals in his past 5 games and he will test the Liverpool back four, though their forward line of Sturridge, if fit, and Sterling will prove a handful for the Villa defence. It will be a great atmosphere on Sunday as Villa aim to reach their first final in 15 years; while Liverpool will be hoping to make their 15th FA Cup final appearance – they have won 7 of those. This will be a tight affair but I am going for a Liverpool victory.

Vocabulary support

last four tie: The semi-final game

lie in 18th place: They are in 18th position

the relegation spots: The bottom three positions in the table

on a run of 8 consecutive wins: They have won 8 games in a row

neutrals: People who support neither Arsenal nor Reading (in this game)

the Royals: The nickname of Reading

have an off-day: Play badly on the day

The heart says Reading but the head definitely says Arsenal: Logic says Arsenal but emotion says Reading

On paper:  One team has better players than the other

have hit some form: Have started to play well

if fit: If he is not injured (he is doubtful)

will prove a handful: He will be difficult to control

a tight affair: A close game; difficult to predict

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