FA Cup Quarter Finals
Bournemouth vs Southampton
The famous cup returns on Saturday as struggling Southampton head close by to neighbours Bournemouth in what should be a great encounter. The Championship side will fancy this one against a Southampton team that aren’t having the best of times at the moment.
Bournemouth is a team that will likely have to settle for a playoff spot in The Championship, if they are to have any chance of making a quick return to the EPL. The team has a recent change in charge, with Jonathan Woodgate taking the reins. They have enjoyed an FA Cup run that has seen them knock out Premier League opposition in Burnley already, and they have a great chance of reaching the semi-final against a Southampton team that has zero confidence at the moment.
The Saints have been bad recently, and that’s an understatement. Nothing is going right for them in terms of their league form, winning only 1 game in their last 12. It’s been a long run of bad form, but in between all that league form has been an FA Cup run that has seen them beat Arsenal and Wolves already. Their focus will likely be surviving in the league, but they have a real chance here to reach a semi-final.
Everton vs Man City
Man City travel to Everton in the later Saturday game, in a game that generally goes in City’s favour. Everton have also lost their last two in the league, while City’s only recent blip in any competition has been the loss to Man Utd a couple of weeks ago.
Everton are a team that always look to be on the cusp of European places, and then they fall short. It could be that is the case this season also as they hit a stumbling block in terms of form, but the FA Cup could provide a gateway to Europe if they are to win it. It’s a huge ask, but with the talent they have and the manager they have in Ancelotti, they should be looking to cause an upset here.
Man City will win the league, I think that’s almost a given at this point. They looked unstoppable until Man Utd showed up, but they have since recovered and are back to winning ways. Pep must win trophies this season as last season they went without any silverware. While the league and Champions League are objectives a lot higher on their list than the FA Cup, which could help Everton, they are still certainly favourites to be lifting this trophy as well.
Man City: 3/10
Chelsea vs Sheff Utd
Sheff Utd look to be almost relegated, and their main focus should now be switched to this cup. In a strange season for The Blades who were fantastic in their return to the EPL last season, now look like a shell of that team. Chelsea won’t be a welcome sight for United, as Thomas Tuchel still remains unbeaten since taking charge in January.
Chelsea are a team certainly on the up. They don’t concede a lot, and they are playing some great football at times. They have an abundance of young talented footballers who may be taking some time to settle into the English game, but given time, they will no doubt prosper. We’ve already seen glimpses of what these players can do, and there are still a lot of improvements to be made, even while on this great run of form in every competition. They should progress here comfortably against a side with no confidence.
Sheff Utd don’t score many goals this season which is a huge problem. Adding to that, the fact that Chelsea have only conceded two goals since Tuchel took over piles even more despair onto the side. One of those goals however, was against Sheff Utd. It’s been a tough season for The Blades who look to be down and out, and their only hope of saving anything from their season will be this cup, which looks highly unlikely for them to reach.
Sheff Utd: 11/1
Leicester vs Man Utd
The last of the quarter-final matches seems to be the pick of the bunch. Ole brings his Man Utd side, who are unbeaten in all competitions since late January, to face Leicester, who have regained a little bit of form heading into this one.
Leicester won’t be favourites, and they shouldn’t be. There’s been far too many times where they’ve looked as though they can challenge for trophies, and keep up with the best, only to take a step back again. The FA Cup could be where they mount a serious challenge for silverware, but they’re up against a Man Utd team that has great away form, and recent form overall. Should Leicester progress here, they will certainly fancy their chances of going all the way, and they have the players to do so.
Ole has made Man Utd hard to beat. Yes, there are far too many draws in their form for them to challenge for the title, but they can pick up a trophy here as they’ve proven recently they can beat the favourites Man City, and they will definitely fancy their chances here. Their away form has been incredible this season, and it could continue here as we never know what Leicester will show up. If Leicester play how we know they can, it will be a very interesting encounter that either team can win.
Man Utd: 13/10