Friday, 8 March 2013

FA Cup Quarter Finals: Preview

As the season begins to get to the end, we focus on the quarter finals of the FA Cup this weekend. Only recently we saw the first piece of silverware won this season with Swansea beating Bradford 5-0 in the Capital One Cup final last month. The winners of the four FA Cup games will see them play at Wembley in the semi finals. There are three Championship sides and five Premier League teams battling it out for these places as we preview the four ties.

1# Manchester United v Chelsea
The cup so far has seen the big sides in the Premier League avoid each other up until now. The two teams faced each other in the Capital One Cup this season which saw a cracking game see Chelsea come out winners 5-4 after extra time. Both teams were involved in European action in the week but will both be determined to progress to the semi finals. Chelsea were the winners of the competition last season under Di Matteo beating Liverpool, while United have not won the competition since 2005. Victory for Chelsea would relieve some pressure under interim boss Rafa Benitez but at Old Trafford, a victory will be a massive task for the blues. United will look towards dutch maestro Van Persie for inspiration and goals as he looks to add to his goal tally this season.
Prediction: Man United 2-1 Chelsea

2# Manchester City v Barnsley
Barnsley will look to cause an FA Cup shock as they travel to the English champions. Having had an excellent run in the competition this season, the Championship side will want a repeat of their cup run of 2008 where they beat Chelsea at the same stage. City have had a relatively simple route to the quarter finals this season and will expect to get past their opponents. They will be without Vincent Kompany and Sergio Aguero but will still be expected to put out a strong side that will aim to repeat the club's success in the competition two seasons ago. As the league looks out of their grasp, Roberto Mancini's only other chance of silverware comes in the cup. The most recent tie between the clubs came in 2004 where City handsomely beat Barnsley 7-1 in the League Cup.
Prediction: Man City 3-0 Barnsley

3# Millwall v Blackburn Rovers
In the all Championship affair, the chance of a semi final place for both clubs will is massive. Had these respected clubs lost their fifth round ties then this hame would have seen non-league Luton host Premier League Arsenal. Instead Millwall produced a professional display to get past Luton while Blackburn were involved in the tie of the round as they beat Arsenal 1-0 at the Emirates. Rovers under Michael Appleton have not won any of their five games in the league since the shock win having lost four and drawn one,. In the only league game between the two this season, Millwall were the winners as they beat Blackburn 2-0 at Ewood Park back in November. 
Prediction: Millwall 2-2 Blackburn

4# Everton v Wigan Athletic
In the opening cup game of the weekend, these two Premier League sides will battle it out for a place at Wembley. In the previous round, Everton needed a replay to dispatch of League One side Oldham, while Wigan comfortably saw of Championship side Huddersfield 4-1. Wigan will play their second game against a Merseyside club this week having played Liverpool at home in the league last Saturday where they were thumped 4-0. Everton going well in the league, reached the semi finals last season, but came out second best as they were beaten by city rivals Liverpool. This is the 18th meeting in all competitions between the clubs. The last time Wigan beat Everton at Goodison Park was back in 2005 when they won 1-0 in a league game. 
Prediction: Everton 2-0 Wigan Athletic

No comments:

Post a Comment