Micah Richards has suggested to the Daily Mail that Elland Road would have been the perfect venue to host the FA Cup semi-final between Manchester City and Sheffield United on Saturday.

Richards was speaking after it was noticed that there were a number of empty seats at Wembley when Pep Guardiola’s men faced the side of former Leeds United boss Paul Heckingbottom.

Richards Elland Road
Photo by James Gill – Danehouse/Getty Images

Ultimately, it was Manchester City who booked their spot in the final. And Richards has leapt to the defence of their fans over the amount of empty seats.

Micah Richards thinks Elland Road should’ve hosted FA Cup semi-final

He suggested that staging the semi-final in London was an error given which two teams were involved. And he picked out our home as the ground which would have been the ideal setting for the tie.

Richards Elland Road
Photo by Daniel Chesterton/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

“Much has been made about the number of empty seats at Wembley for Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final between Manchester City and Sheffield United, almost as if it is a sign that some City fans have become complacent about success,” he told the Daily Mail.

“Don’t listen to such nonsense. If people want full houses for the last four, then there should be real consideration to hosting them at neutral grounds. Elland Road would have been perfect, logistically, for those two sets of fans.”

There has long been a debate over whether the semi-finals should be played at Wembley anyway. For some, playing at the national stadium should only be the reward for those who reach the final.

However, try telling that to the Sheffield United fans who had little expectation of reaching the final, and thus, made the most of their day on Saturday.

As much as Elland Road has a charm, it is hard to imagine that supporters of Manchester City or Sheffield United would have been happy with the choice.

The two sides were allocated 34,000 seats each for the game. Elland Road’s capacity would have meant that the two sides would have had to settle for a lot, lot less.

Wembley does not appear to be in the best condition considering it opened this side of the Millennium. However, Leeds fans have not been happy with the condition of Elland Road for some time.

Perhaps being awarded an FA Cup semi-final would have been the motivation the Leeds board needed to actually make some of the changes the stadium actually needs – desperately.

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