Fourth FA Cup Predictions by Dan Smith
This doesn’t count towards our predictions table but let’s give our verdict on how the Premier League sides will fare in the FA Cup. (And a heads up; we will be counting midweek as part of the table as it’s a full round of EPL fixtures)
Chorley 0-4 Wolves
With his team not in form, Nuno Santos will be appreciative of what should be a straightforward tie.
I’m glad clubs have been helping non-League sides raise funds in the Cup by purchasing virtual tickets, which is essentially a donation. Spurs for example helped Marine earn 300,000 in the last round, a lot of money for a game with zero crowds.
There’s talk that some Wolves fans are encouraging their peers not to participate in the scheme out of protest to a tweet the opposition sent out being pro West Bromwich. I’m glad they understand the magic of the Cup!
If Arsenal beat the Saints on Saturday; we will be heading to Molineux in the next round.
Saints 1-1 Arsenal (Arsenal win extra time)
Funny how quickly football can change. A month ago the Saints came to the Emirates as favourites, disappointed to only draw, while we were probably relieved.
The biggest compliment I can give Southampton is we will have to play well to advance.
We also travel to Saint Marys on Tuesday, but I don’t think Arteta can afford to play a weak line up.
We are hard to beat so can see us taking this to extra time, where maybe us having a stronger bench will be the difference?
Brighton 1-1 Blackpool (Brighton win on pens)
This is a nightmare tie for Potter who might feel that he has no choice but to rest key names, given that they are playing Fulham at home on Wednesday. They will go 8 points clear of relegation if they win in midweek.
Brighton needed penalties to beat Newport, the same way Blackpool knocked out West Bromwich, so another shoot out wouldn’t be a shock.
Sheffield United 2-1 Plymouth
Other managers that are bottom of their League with 5 points might feel there is no room for a cup run.
Yet Chris Wilder used the last round as an opportunity to boost confidence for his first team squad so I can see that being the case again.
West Ham 1-0 Doncaster
The Hammers have mastered the habit of not playing well but finding a way to grind out a win.
I’ll go for another scrappy 1-0 win.
Cheltenham 0-5 Man City
It seems every year City seem to get the luck of the draw in this competition.
They are the one team who, during this hectic schedule, can make changes in every position and you still couldn’t envisage an upset.
Chelsea 4-0 Luton
This is where you need luck out of your control. Chelsea might look back in a few months grateful that in a period when they have lost their way, they were getting drawn against lower League opposition.
Frank Lampard will use the game to help the likes of Werner and Havertz boost their confidence. Although I said that in round three!
Brentford 1-1 Leicester (Brentford 1-2 Leicester in extra time)
Brentford are unbeaten in 16 games so this is a tricky tie for Leicester, especially if they continue their policy of resting Jamie Vardy again in the Cup.
Third in the Championship, Brentford might make a few changes themselves which might give the visitors the edge.
Fulham 1-0 Burnley
Both teams have been playing well without always getting the wins they deserve. Without the pressure of a relegation fight for one weekend, both teams can play with more freedom than usual.
Man United 1-0 Liverpool
When these two met last weekend both were too scared to lose. Even though it’s knock out football, neither will feel as much pressure this Sunday.
It’s still not clear how much Klopp cares about the Cup so I sense Ole might take this tie more seriously?
Everton 3-1 Sheffield Wednesday
Can see this going like the last round. Sheffield Wednesday will cause a scare but eventually Everton will have too much fire power.
Wycombe 1-3 Spurs
I had a horrible feeling when he did well in the Carabao Cup, now the FA Cup draw is being kind to Jose. Unlike a lot of managers he will take this cup seriously.
Who knows maybe Gareth Bale will get a run out?
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