The FA Cup is coming towards the business end and this weekend the eight games take place from the fifth round. We will find out some of our quarter-finalists this weekend, perhaps them all depending on the situation with replays, and those teams will feel they have a genuine chance of reaching the Wembley semi-finals which will be just one game away.
The four big clubs remaining in the draw, Chelsea, Manchester United, Tottenham and Manchester City have all been handed kind draws, and they will all be hoping to get into the next round safely this weekend. All four are playing in Europe and additional games due to cup replays are not what they need at this moment in the season, so don’t be surprised to see these four going all out to ensure that doesn’t happen.
Rochdale and Coventry continue to fly the flag for the lower leagues, but both of them look to have extremely tough tasks this weekend. The best placed Championship team looks to be Sheffield Wednesday, although they have really struggled for form in recent weeks. If the FA Cup can breathe life into them and get them playing, they have a good chance against Swansea, but on recent form they have little chance.
With five of the eight ties on TV across the weekend, we have a great feast of cup football for fans of the game.
Our Predictions for the Ties
Leicester vs Sheffield United – Leicester win
Chelsea vs Hull – Chelsea win
Sheffield Wednesday vs Swansea – Swansea win
Brighton vs Coventry – Brighton win
West Brom vs Southampton – Draw
Huddersfield vs Manchester United – Manchester United win
Rochdale vs Tottenham – Tottenham win
Wigan vs Manchester City – Manchester City win
What Games are on TV?
Chelsea vs Hull – Friday, 20:00 BT Sport 2
Chelsea will fancy their chances at home to Championship team Hull, and they will also be hoping to wrap this up in one game and avoid a replay. They have two legs to play against Barcelona soon in the Champions League, as well as a top-four Premier League battle, so keeping fresh will be key for them.
Hull have been underperforming in the Championship and they will be hoping the change of scenery to a cup game can breathe life into the squad. This is going to need a huge effort form, Hull, if they want to pull off a shock, they are going to have to be at their very best, and hope Chelsea underperform.
Sheffield Wednesday vs Swansea – Saturday, 12:30 BT Sport 2
Ex Sheffield Wednesday manager Carlos Carvahal takes his new team Swansea to Hillsborough for his first return to the club. This game has the potential to be the best of the weekend, and if Wednesday can play like we all know they can then that should really test Swansea. However, they have been disappointing over the past few weeks, struggling to put together a sequence of results, and that is something they need to work out over the coming games.
Swansea will need to approach this in a professional manner, this is not going to be easy for them, despite them being in a higher division. They have the ability to win this, and the recent for Wednesday have shown will only help them with that. This could be a good game, but that requires Sheffield Wednesday to show much-improved form, and due to that I think Swansea can take this.
Huddersfield vs Manchester United – Saturday, 17:30 BT Sport 2
This all-Premier League tie puts together one team from the top of the league, and one from the bottom. Manchester United are favourites and they should take all the beating here, although both teams will be concentrating on the league right now, which could mean changes for both of them. Manchester United also have a European game to think about, which makes changes even more likely for them.
Having said all that, United have a very good squad and they still have enough to trouble Huddersfield. Their hosts have been slowly dropping down the Premier League table, and are in a huge relegation fight. This is a game that Manchester United can win on Saturday evening.
Rochdale vs Tottenham – Sunday, 16:00 BBC One
Rochdale have their chance to be giant killers this weekend when Tottenham visit them. The League One side will certainly be up for this, although they face a tough task against Spurs, who are beginning to show a lot of character and play well again, following a slight dip in form. The Champions League and a top-four spot in the Premier League will, of course, be the main aims for Spurs, but even with a few players rested, they should have enough to beat Rochdale.
The home side needs to try and relax and enjoy the occasion, and if they get a chance they must take it. However, it looks like being an uphill battle, with Tottenham comfortably coming out on top.
Wigan vs Manchester City – Monday, 19:55 BBC One
Wigan have the almost impossible task of trying to find a way to stop Manchester City. Everyone has seen just how fantastic City have played this year, and despite challenging on all fronts there appears to be no stopping them. They are all but Premier League champions already, play in the League Cup final next week and have one foot in the Champions League quarter finals. The FA Cup is another trophy they could potentially win, and you certainly wouldn’t bet against them doing so with how they are playing.
Wigan will be hoping to cause an upset, although they know how tough this is going to be for them. They have to hope they get a chance, and if they do they must take it.
With five games out of the eight on TV this weekend, it is going to be a great weekend for punters. There looks to be four stand out Premier League teams to back, which will form many accumulators and all of those four games are on TV, so punters can watch their accumulators hopefully win this weekend. The four stand out bets that many people will be looking at are:
Manchester United (4/9)
Manchester City (1/6)
Should these four win then I am sure we will see many happy accumulator punters this weekend.
Those looking for value may be drawn to the 5/4 available on Swansea to win at Sheffield Wednesday. The home team are not playing well right now, and this could be a good opportunity for the Premier League team to advance. Elsewhere, Leicester look likely to win against Sheffield United, they are priced at 1/2 while Brighton will also attract interest at 4/11 at home to Coventry. The last game between West Brom and Southampton could be the only draw of the weekend, and that is priced up at 23/10.
Manchester United to Beat Huddersfield at 33/1 with Coral
Many people will fancy Manchester United to beat Huddersfield this weekend, and if you are also looking for a new betting account then you can combine these two things with Coral. They are offering new customers the chance to back Manchester United at 33/1 to beat Huddersfield, and that is a huge price compared to the odds offered elsewhere. If you are looking for a new betting account then be sure to check this offer out.
William Hill 5 team Acca Insurance
On any week, many people will place accumulator bets, but this week especially looks to be a great week for them. With many people betting like that, it is important you get the best deal when placing your bet. With acca insurance from William Hill, you get the consolation of your money back if your accumulator loses by one selection. This is available to new and existing customers, and well worth taking advantage of.
Betfred Double Delight and Hat-Trick Heaven on Goal Scorers
If you are looking to place a bet on a player to score the first goal in any of the three televised games this weekend listed below then check out the offer that Betfred run. The offer is for new and existing customers and is available on the following three games:
Chelsea vs Hull
Sheffield Wednesday vs Swansea
Huddersfield vs Manchester United
If your player scores the first goal then you will collect as normal for him scoring first. However, if he goes on to score another goal in the game, then you will collect at double the odds. If your player manages to score the third goal then you will get the hat trick heaven promotion, which gives you treble the odds. If you are looking at betting on a first goal scorer in these matches, it makes sense to do it with Betfred.