The FA Cup, the worlds most famous domestic football Cup competition, has reached the fifth round stage – with 16 teams remaining and all harbouring hopes of lifting the famous trophy.
FantasySports.co.uk came very close to forecasting three shocks in the last round, certainly in the first meetups anyway – here, we look to go a bit better and forecast where we think the underdog will prevail in true FA Cup tradition :
BLADES TO SCALP FOXES
Leicester City have been in fine form in the Premier League recently – until they visited Manchester City and took a 5-1 hammering. No disgrace in that result in isolation, but we think they may just suffer a hangover against the dangerous Blades, who whilst have fallen off the play off chase in the Championship, are still playing some lovely football and enjoying a fine season. Their last outing, a home win over Leeds United, will give them some restored confidence and with nothing to lose at Leicester, can snatch a victory in what could be a very watchable game between two energetic and fluid teams.
Forecast : Leicester City 1 – 2 Sheffield United
OWLS TO HAUNT CARLOS
The FA Cup always throws up subplots and storylines that make even the most mundane of matchup suddenly look full of interest to the neutral. Here, Carlos Carvalhal returns to Sheffield Wednesday, with whom he took to the doorstep of the Premier League last season, before getting the sack after a dreadful start to the 2017/18 season. Swansea City took their chance on him, when their own appointment of Paul Clement failed, and Carvalhal has transformed the Swans, taking them from rock bottom of the Premier League to the dizzy heights of 16th and very much upwardly mobile. But….whilst Wednesday continue to flounder in the Championship and have a myriad of injuries to contend with, they did get back to morale boosting winning ways on Tuesday, with a fine 2-0 home win over promotion chasing Derby County – and they can ride that wave by making the last 8 of the FA Cup by handing a defeat to their Premier League opponents.
Forecast : Sheffield Wednesday 1 – 0 Swansea City
The rest of the ties look relatively straight forward – we think Rochdale will make life tough for Spurs at Spotland but cant see past the Premier League side….the two Manchester teams should progress, whilst Chelsea can see off struggling Hull City with minimal fuss. Premier League Brighton should have too much for Coventry City at the Amex Stadium, whilst it would be a stretch to suggest either WBA or Southampton are huge favourites or underdogs for their tie at the Hawthorns on Saturday. We can see this being a draw with the Saints progressing from the replay.
We look forward to watching all the drama unfold over the FA Cup weekend and seeing how our tips fare as teams battle to make the Quarter Final stage.