The FA Cup – Quarter Final Preview

The FA Cup returns this weekend, with the quarter final round of the famous cup competition.

With one game separating the teams from a trip to Wembley Stadium, all the players and the managers will be eager to impress in this round.

The fixtures are spread over the weekend, with The Riverside Stadium kicking off the action on Saturday at 12:15, finishing up at Stamford Bridge on Monday evening.

Saturday

Middlesbrough v Manchester City (12:15)

Manchester City travel to the Riverside Stadium in the first quarter final. Middlesbrough progressed after beating Oxford United 3-2, however for Manchester City, they had to take part in a replay to eventually ease past Huddersfield Town.

City played a mid-week contest against Stoke City in the Premier League and their performance was below-par, registering only one shot on target in their 0-0 draw. The Sky Blues will be looking to step up against Boro. Not to forget, they travel to Monaco for the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Wednesday which will also be in the back of their minds.

Arsenal v Lincoln City (17:30)

Lincoln City’s reward for making the last eight is a trip to the Emirates Stadium to face Arsenal, who will be looking to avoid a second cup humiliation inside five days.

Arsenal welcome non-league Lincoln City, off the back of a 5-1 defeat at home to Bayern Munich in the Champions League, which on aggregate stood as 10-2. The FA Cup is the only realistic chance of silverware this season for Arsene Wenger.

Lincoln City are the first non-league club to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals in 103 years. In the last round, they needed a last minute winner against Burnley to progress. The fans will be hoping for a stroke of good fortune versus the Gunners, something you can experience with spin palace.

Sunday

Tottenham Hotspur v Millwall (14:00)

This London derby see’s Millwall travel to White Hart Lane, in which the home team have not been beaten on home soil this season.

Mauricio Pochettino’s team are therefore huge favourites heading into the tie, however Millwall are enjoying a 17-game unbeaten run of their own at the moment. After seeing off Leicester City in the last round, they will fancy their chances against Premier League high flyers Tottenham.

Former Spurs defender Gary Mabbutt believes Spurs can go all the way this season to FA Cup glory, saying “people building up the hoodoo of playing at Wembley, it’s absolute nonsense and I think that will be proven this season because I’m quietly confident Tottenham will go on to win the FA Cup this year.”

“If we’re looking at strengthening in certain positions, I think we’d be looking at buying another striker,” said Mabbutt. “If Harry Kane gets injured, we need a bit more in that department. It’s just concerning that our main striker is Harry and if he’s not fit you’re looking at Son Heung-min and Janssen. Can they produce the goals Harry has been scoring?”

Monday

Chelsea v Manchester United (19:45)

The final game of the FA Cup quarter final sees Jose Mourinho return to Chelsea for the second time this season. The former Chelsea boss might be looking to get revenge on his former employers after getting thrashed 4-0 at the Bridge in the Premier League.

With home and away Europa League fixtures to play either side of the FA Cup clash, Manchester United play three times in eight days. However, Chelsea have not kicked a ball since beating West Ham United on Monday and will not play again until next Saturday, something that is favourable for the home team.

With a trip to Wembley all within touching distance for the 8 teams, it’s going to be an exciting few days of FA Cup football.

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