As far as my predictions go from my column last week, I had a better Sunday than I did Saturday with correct scores in the Arsenal and Spurs games. The Premier League is so difficult to call this season, it’s been really hard. But the FA Cup returns this weekend. I had 30 appearances in the FA Cup but didn’t have a great record, scoring just one goal.
It’s a fantastic competition though and I absolutely love it. Growing up we used to have everyone round the house, family and friends, and there’d always be 30 people watching the final on TV. As a player I remember the feeling of being on the bus going to games, preparing in the hotel beforehand and so on. The competiton has great spirit.
The quarter-finals was the furthest I got in the competition but I did play at the old Wembley when Ipswich won the Division One play-off final in 2000. They’re great memories that I’ll never forget. As far as this weekend’s predictions go, I think one Manchester side will be making an FA Cup exit while round six could see an abundance of London clubs.
Arsenal v Hull
Chelsea v Manchester City
It’s difficult to predict this one. It’s at Stamford Bridge and City have a Champions League game just three days later in Kiev so I think there will be quite a few changes made by Pellegrini in this game. Chelsea are unbeaten in the league under Hiddink so I’ll go for Chelsea to edge it 2-1. Take me to Marathonbet’s Chelsea v Manchester City FA Cup markets.
Tottenham v Crystal Palace
The FA Cup is probably a welcome distraction for Palace right now considering their league form. Spurs have been able to manage all their competitions really well, especially in the Europa League in the early part of the season. They’re playing some brilliant football in the Premier League and are proving consistent too, so I fancy Spurs to come out on top here. Take me to Marathonbet’s Tottenham v Crystal Palace FA Cup markets.
Shrewsbury v Manchester United
This is a potential banana skin for Manchester United. They went to Derby last round and came through it but they’re not in great form right now and Shrewsbury will love taking them on. I fancy Manchester United still to come out on top though because I just feel Micky Mellon’s side have come to the end of their good cup run. Take me to Marathonbet’s Shrewsbury v Manchester United FA Cup markets.
Bournemouth v Everton
Everton I think are a team that need some silverware. Roberto Martinez will be desperate for it. They were excellent against West Brom at the weekend but lost 1-0, however their form has been good of late so I’d probably tip them to come out on top because Bournemouth in the FA Cup have made plenty of changes through the rounds. Their priority will be to stay up in the league this season. Take me to Marathonbet’s Bournemouth v Everton FA Cup markets.
Watford v Leeds
I can’t see beyond Watford. Troy Deeney is in great form and he’s got a great partnership with Ighalo up top. I can’t see beyond them. Take me to Marathonbet’s Watford v Leeds FA Cup markets.
Reading v West Brom
West Brom have made it difficult for themselves. They’ve drawn at home and gone away from home twice in replays so perhaps they’re happy to be going away in this one to dig out a result, like they did at Everton. I’ll edge towards West Brom going through. Take me to Maratonbet’s Reading v West Brom FA Cup markets.
Blackburn v West Ham
West Ham knocked Liverpool out in the last round so I’ll go for an away win. Take me to Marathonbet’s Blackburn v West Ham FA Cup markets.