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    FA Cup 5th round predictions

    Portsmouth vs Arsenal Mon 2 Mar 2020, 7.45pm (UK)

    While Mikel Arteta has said he is still chasing Champions League qualification with Arsenal, the truth is that the FA Cup also has to be a priority for the Gunners. With no trophy since 2017, this year’s FA Cup presents an excellent opportunity for silverware to be brought to the Emirates, especially as Arsenal’s next opponents are two divisions below them. Plus, Portsmouth will have an important league match on the Friday before this Monday night game, meaning Arsenal will have had an extra day of rest as their most recent fixture will have been their Thursday night Europa League game at home to Olympiacos. This should be one step too far for an admittedly very impressive Pompey side. 

    Prediction: Arsenal WIN

     

    Chelsea vs Liverpool Tue 3 Mar 2020, 7.45pm (UK)

    Even before Jurgen Klopp sent the Under-23s to play Liverpool’s fourth round replay against Shrewbury, Liverpool had rested many of their starters in their other games of this year’s FA Cup. It’s quite clear that this isn’t their priority this season. Assuming they rest starters once more away at Chelsea, Stamford Bridge should prove to be a bridge too far. 

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    Prediction: Chelsea WIN

     

    Reading vs Sheffield United Tue 3 Mar 2020, 8pm (UK)

    Sheffield United enjoyed their matches against Reading last season, winning 4-0 and 2-0 against the Royals on their way to promotion to the Premier League. Now in England’s top division, Chris Wilder’s team have been taking the league by storm. They’ll be fancied to win this one and for good reason. 

    Prediction: Sheffield United WIN

     

    West Brom vs Newcastle United Tue 3 Mar 2020, 8pm (UK)

    Top-of-the-Championship West Brom have been making lots of rotations in the FA Cup this season, yet have still managed to make it this far. After making eight changes for their win over West Ham in the previous round, coach Slaven Bilic is expected to similarly rotate his side once again and that could hand the advantage to a Newcastle side that has been in great form for most of 2020. 

    Prediction: Newcastle United WIN

     

    Sheffield Wednesday vs Manchester City Wed 4 Mar 2020, 7.45pm (UK)

    Manchester City don’t mess around when it comes to domestic trophies, taking the cup competitions as seriously as they do any other. When taking on lower-league opposition, they’ve flexed their muscles and shown little mercy, winning each of their past 10 matches against lower-league opposition and doing so by a combined scoreline of 41-5. 

    Prediction: Manchester City WIN

     

    Leicester City vs Birmingham City

    Wed 4 Mar 2020, 7.45pm (UK)

    Even though Birmingham City have improved a lot in recent weeks and have had a good start to 2020, they’re going up against one of the most impressive sides in the country and against a team that will see winning the FA Cup as a realistic ambition. After the disappointment of losing in the League Cup semi-finals to Aston Villa, the Foxes should be up for this cup and that’s bad news for Pep Clotet’s side.

    Prediction: Leicester City WIN

     

    Tottenham vs Norwich City Wed 4 Mar 2020, 7.45pm (UK)

    On paper, this looks like a comfortable home victory as Tottenham are still one of the strongest sides in England and in Europe, while Norwich City are rock bottom of the Premier League table. Yet Norwich City have enjoyed more joy in the cup this season than they have in the league and earned an impressive win at Burnley last time out. Spurs, meanwhile, needed a replay to move past Southampton in the fourth round. Jose Mourinho’s side will still be favourite and should progress, but this match could be a lot closer than some seem to think.

    Prediction: Tottenham WIN

     

    Derby County vs Manchester United Thu 5 Mar 2020, 7.45pm (UK)

    It was just last year that Derby County knocked Manchester United out of the League Cup at Old Trafford, winning on penalties after a 2-2 draw. They’ll be up for this one once again as Wayne Rooney prepares to face his former club at Pride Park. And home advantage could be an important factor. Even though Derby County are down in the bottom half of the Championship table, they boast the second-best record in the division. They’re strong at home and could certainly force a replay.  

    Prediction: DRAW – Manchester United to win the replay

     

     

     

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