Saturday, June 10, 2023

FA Cup and Premier League predictions

Can Crawley cause a huge upset?

Apart from a massive Midlands derby on Sunday the Premier League takes a back seat again this weekend as the FA Cup fourth round replays and fifth round ties take centre stage.

Saturday 19th February

FA Cup 4th round replay

  • Chelsea v Everton
  • This is an absolutely crucial game for both teams. Chelsea need to stay in the FA Cup even more than normal as they are looking unlikely to defend their Premier League title. Everton have had a horrible season and this game is all that stands between them and an anticlimax of a season trying to stay above the drop zone.

    The first game ended 1-1 at Goodison and may well have been Everton’s best and only chance of staying in the tournament.

    Soccernews prediction: 2-0

    FA Cup 5th round

  • Birmingham v Sheffield Wednesday
  • It isn’t too long ago that Sheffield Wednesday were the big guns and would have been the favourites to win this game. Now however, Birmingham are an established, if currently struggling, Premier League side and Wednesday find themselves in the bottom half of League one.

    Former West Brom and Bolton boss Gary Megson has recently taken over at Wednesday but he has a side who haven’t won in seven league games.

    Birmingham were really poor in their defeat against Newcastle and they look to be totally devoid of flair and creativity. If Wednesday play like Megson’s other teams have done, we certainly won’t be in for a classic!

    Soccernews prediction: 1-0

  • Manchester United v Crawley Town
  • This is what the FA Cup is all about. The team top of the Premier League take on a team from the Blue Square Premier League. Five divisions apart, but United will have one eye on their Champions League game against Marseille and Crawley are the best non-league team and have already seen off three league sides.

    Crawley are ambitious and have they have money. They play the game in an aggressive and tough way and they will be looking to unsettle United in any way they can. They will give it a go in front of their 9000 travelling fans, but in the end, I’m sure that class will prevail.

    Soccernews prediction: 3-0

  • Stoke v Brighton
  • This is a very long way away from being an easy game for Stoke. Brighton, under the management of Gus Poyet, are flying high at the top of League one. They knocked out Championship Watford in the last round and will go into the game full of confidence.

    Stoke will not be unsettled by lower league opposition because they play the game in a way that is perhaps more associated with that type of football.

    I fancy Brighton to earn some money by taking Stoke back to their place.

    Soccernews prediction: 1-1

    Sunday 20th February

    FA Cup 4th round replay

  • Manchester City v Notts County
  • This is a great day out for Notts County and their fans after thoroughly deserving a second chance in their 1-1 draw in Nottingham.

    In reality, County only really had any chance of making progress in that first game and this replay is little more than a welcome money spinner for the struggling League one club.

    Soccernews prediction: 4-1

    FA Cup 5th round

  • Fulham v Bolton
  • Bolton earned the right to take on Fulham in a 1-0 win at Wigan in midweek. This will be a tougher proposition as Fulham have sorted themselves out and become a tough team to beat, particularly at Craven Cottage.

    Both teams will feel that they have a reasonable chance of making progress to the quarter-finals and know that anything could happen after that. They will both think that Wembley is a realistic target although with Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal still in the tournament it may be more difficult this year than normal.

    Fulham’s home form is good and that should be enough to see them through.

    Soccernews prediction: 1-0

  • Leyton Orient v Arsenal
  • Another game that represents all that is good about the FA Cup. It is probably another game in which the minnows have very little chance of causing an upset, but it will be a great day for the East London club.

    Orient are going OK in tenth place in League one and are unbeaten in fourteen home games in which they have scored thirty-four goals. They certainly won’t be afraid to give it a go.

    After beating Barcelona in the week, this will be a very different game for Arsenal and I would assume we will see a very different Arsenal team. Having said that, they will surely have too much for Orient.

    Soccernews prediction: 0-3

    Premier League

  • West Brom v Wolves
  • This is a huge game for these two near neighbours. It is hardly a gentle introduction to the West Brom for new manager Roy Hodgson as he takes on their most hated local rivals who are just three points behind them in the bottom four of the table. A two goal victory for Wolves would see them swap place and send West Brom into the drop zone.

    On the plus side for Hodgson is the fact that Wolves have picked up just four points in thirteen away games all season. Of course, three of those were at Hodgson’s Liverpool!

    Soccernews prediction: 0-1

    Monday 21st February

    FA Cup 5th round

  • West Ham v Burnely
  • Premier League relegation strugglers take on Championship promotion hopefuls. This game will show how big the gap between the two divisions really is, or isn’t.

    West Ham were bitterly disappointed to miss out in the Carling Cup semi-final and will hope that Avram Grant can keep up his impressive FA Cup record,

    Burnley are a decent side and have recently appointed the excellent Eddie Howe as manager, but I think this might be just beyond them.

    Soccernews prediction: 2-1


    Graham Fisher



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