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FA Cup quarter-finals: preview & predictions

Published on: 18 March 2023

The quarter-finals of the FA Cup take centre stage this weekend with eight teams still dreaming of lifting the prestigious trophy at Wembley Stadium in May.

Several big-hitters have already exited the competition, creating the possibility that an unexpected team could upset the odds and progress to the final.

Just four Premier League teams are through to the last eight, and two of those have been drawn against each other this weekend.

A Championship side is guaranteed to progress to the semi-finals, with promotion-chasers Sheffield United and Blackburn Rovers facing each other at Bramall Lane.

Read on as we preview the upcoming FA Cup quarter-final ties and predict who we think will book their places in the last four of the competition.

Manchester United vs Fulham

Having already claimed the Carabao Cup in February, Manchester United have set their sights on winning another two trophies this season.

The latest Man Utd news shows that the Red Devils are in contention to win the Europa League, while success in the FA Cup is also not beyond the realms of possibility.

Erik ten Hag’s side will fancy their chances of beating Fulham this weekend having racked up a 15-game unbeaten run against the London club.

Fulham have won just one of their last 25 matches at Old Trafford – a record which highlights the size of the task they face this weekend.

However, Man United have lost five of their last eight quarter-final ties, which may give the Cottagers some hope for their latest trip to the Theatre of Dreams.

Fulham last reached the semi-finals 21 years ago and it would be a surprise if they can stop United in their ongoing quest to win major silverware.

Prediction: Manchester United 3-1 Fulham.

Manchester City vs Burnley

Manchester City are another team chasing multiple trophies this season and look a good bet to book their place in the semi-finals of the FA Cup.

City have beaten Burnley in each of their last 10 meetings by an aggregate score of 34-1 and they will fancy their chances of recording another comfortable win this weekend.

Pep Guardiola’s side were imperious in the Champions League in midweek, romping to a comprehensive 7-0 victory over Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig in a performance that sparked a surge in traffic for football streaming sites.

They face a Burnley side that have been in great form in the Championship and who are on course to make an immediate return to the Premier league.

While they are much-improved in the second tier under manager Vincent Kompany, facing City at the Etihad Stadium is a whole different ball game.

Man City have won their last ten FA Cup home games, scoring 41 goals and conceding just four, and another emphatic win is on the cards this weekend.

Prediction: Manchester City 4-0 Burnley.

Sheffield United vs Blackburn Rovers

Blackburn Rovers must overcome history this weekend, having failed to beat Sheffield United in the FA Cup for 126 years.

However, Rovers will head into the game full of confidence having defeated the Blades 1-0 in the Championship at the start of March.

The Lancashire outfit bagged the only goal of the game inside the first five minutes and could have won by a bigger margin had they taken all their chances.

The Blades are fortunate to still be in the competition having been given a massive scare by non-league Wrexham in the fourth round.

However, this is their third FA Cup quarter-final in the last four seasons and they will be keen to use home advantage to progress to the last four.

Rovers’ superb victory at Leicester City in the previous round highlighted their ability to get results on the road and they are fancied to nick a close tie.

Prediction: Sheffield United 2-2 Blackburn Rovers (Rovers win on penalties).

Brighton & Hove Albion v Grimsby Town

Grimsby Town’s presence in the quarter-finals is a major surprise, although no one can argue that they do not deserve to be there.

Town are the first team in FA Cup history to eliminate five teams from a higher division in a single season of the competition (excluding preliminary rounds).

They are only the fifth side from the fourth tier to reach the quarter-finals and are aiming to become the first to make it through to the next stage.

Grimsby showed they should not be underestimated in the previous round by recording a fully-deserved 2-1 victory against Southampton at St Mary’s.

The League Two side will likely find Brighton a much tougher proposition, with the south coast club currently battling for a top four finish in the Premier League.

Brighton reached the FA Cup semi-finals in 2018/19 and they are strongly fancied to end Grimsby’s interest in the competition this weekend.

Prediction: Brighton & Hove Albion 2-0 Grimsby Town.




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