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FA Cup preview 17th and 18th February 2013

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini is under immense pressure, as his team face Leeds in the FA Cup

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini is under immense pressure, as his team face Leeds in the FA Cup

The remaining FA Cup fixtures take place on Sunday and Monday.

One of the biggest games of Sunday takes place at the Etihad Stadium, where Premier League champions Manchester City host Championship Leeds.

The visitors knocked out Premier League outfit Tottenham in the last round and will head to Manchester with nothing to lose.

The FA Cup now seems to be Manchester City’s last chance to win silverware this season.

City boss Roberto Mancini is now under immense pressure to win matches and a defeat to lower league opposition could cost the Italian his job.

Elsewhere, Championship Huddersfield host Premier League Wigan at the John Smith’s Stadium. The Terriers have a new boss in charge in Mark Robins, who replaced Simon Grayson.

Huddersfield are struggling in the Championship and have been defeated 11 times in their last 15 games against top flight opposition. The only previous meetings between these teams came back in 1977 when the Yorkshire club came out on top.

Their visitors Wigan are on a really poor run of form in the Premier League and were hammered 4-1 at Chelsea in the Premier League in their last outing. The Latics haven’t won in six games and are likely to field a slightly weakened side in Yorkshire.

The only fourth round tie on Sunday sees Chelsea host London neighbours Brentford at Stamford Bridge. The Bees gave Chelsea a fright in the first game, with the Premier League having to be rescued late-on through a Fernando Torres goal.

Rafa Benitez’s team will be expected to dispatch their League One team with ease at the second time of asking. The Blues could also field a weakened team, but will still be expected to beat their lower league opposition.

Brentford won’t be pushovers though and Uwe Rosler will be looking for his side to produce a good display at Stamford Bridge.

On Monday night Manchester United host Reading at Old Trafford. The Red Devils last outing was a 1-1 draw with Real Madrid at the Bernabeu. The Red Devils are still in with a chance of claiming the treble of Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup.

United are likely to field a completely different team to the one that played in Madrid. United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is likely to rotate his squad for this cup tie with a Premier League game on Saturday at struggling QPR.

Reading have had a decent spell of late and given themselves a chance of surviving in the top flight this season. The Royals have won four out of their last six games in all competitions, but were defeated 2-1 at Stoke in their last game.

Premier League survival remains the Royals priority, but an unlikely win at Old Trafford would certainly boost morale in the Reading ranks.

League

Liverpool host Swansea in the only Premier League game of the weekend. The home side suffered a 2-0 home defeat against West Brom in their last Premier League game, after dominating possession for much of the game.

The defeat leaves Liverpool 12 points behind fourth place Tottenham and with little chance of making it into the Champions League places this season. Striker Daniel Sturridge is still a doubt for this fixture, but is expected to be fit to play.

Swansea are having a superb season and will play in the Capital One Cup against Bradford next weekend. The Swans moved above Liverpool into seventh place last weekend with a 4-1 victory over bottom club QPR.

Swansea defender Chico Flores will miss this game and is a major doubt for next weekend’s big clash with Bradford.

Can Brentford cause a shock at Stamford Bridge?

Sat 16 February, 2013
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