Our football pundit previews the FA Cup quarterfinal action which kicks off on Saturday 17 March 2018.
The FA Cup Quarter-Finals will take place this weekend with two matches played on Saturday and two on Sunday. Tottenham travel to the Liberty Stadium to face Swansea in Saturday’s early kick off, before Manchester United welcome Brighton to Old Trafford in the evening.
On Sunday, League One side Wigan host Southampton at the DW Stadium, before Chelsea battle Leicester City at the King Power Stadium.Manchester United and Tottenham are joint 9/4 favourites to lift the trophy following the fifth-round exit to Manchester City.
Saturday 17 March
Swansea City 11/2
Swansea have lost only twice in 16 matches in all competitions under Carlos Carvalhal, who has transformed their fortunes since replacing the sacked Paul Clement at the end of December. The Swans have won their last seven matches at the Liberty Stadium, including Premier League victories over Liverpool and Arsenal. In that run, they defeated Wolverhampton, Notts County and Sheffield Wednesday to reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.
Tottenham come into this tie off an emphatic 4-1 win away to Bournemouth in the Premier League, but Mauricio Pochettino’s side are set to be without star striker Harry Kane who suffered an ankle injury in that game. After exiting the UEFA Champions League last week, this is Tottenham’s only hope of silverware this season. Spurs failed to win on their travels in this season’s FA Cup, drawing both ties against minnows Newport County and Rochdale. With Kane unavailable, the best bet here is Both Teams to Score at 21/20.
Manchester United 3/10
Manchester United are heavy favorites to beat Brighton at Old Trafford. Jose Mourinho’s men are unbeaten in their last eight matches at home in all competitions with six wins, including five on the spin – at the time of writing. Brighton put up a good fight when they visited Old Trafford in November with Ashley Young’s deflected strike gifting United all three points.
The Seagulls will be hoping for another impressive performance against Mourinho’s men and will look to cause an upset. Chris Hughton’s side come off a 2-0 loss away to Everton while they’ve recorded just one win in their last 10 travels. In that run, they suffered six defeats and failed to get on the scoresheet in seven matches. The home win is the way to go.
Sunday 18 March
Wigan Athletic 49/20
After doing what no Premier League side has done this season and that is beat Manchester City on their turf, Wigan will be confident they can knock out strugglers Southampton. The Latics, who are third in the League One table, have been solid at the DW Stadium, losing just once in their last 13 matches, keeping 10 clean sheets.
Southampton, who recently parted ways with Mauricio Pellegrino, are 17th in the Premier League with only one point above the relegation zone. The Saints were thumped 3-0 away to Newcastle last weekend and I’m backing the hosts to add to their woes. Back Wigan on the Win/Draw Double Chance at 13/20.
Leicester City 24/10
Leicester earned a lot of praise in their goalless draw at Stamford Bridge in January as they were the better side on the day and probably feel they could have taken all three points had they not been reduced to 10 men when Ben Chilwell received two yellow cards in six minutes. The Foxes will be looking to give Antonio Conte’s side the boot, but the Premier League champions, who were FA Cup finalists last season, have won on their last two trips to the King Power Stadium.
Claude Puel’s side have drawn three of their last four home games, while the Blues have lost their last four matches on the road. Conte is likely to start with Olivier Giroud who was brilliant in Chelsea’s emphatic 4-0 win over Hull City in the FA Cup fifth round. I think Both Teams to Score at 7/10 is a top bet and probably the safest, but 21/20 on the away side is well worth a punt. Get on!