FA Cup Fifth Round Preview and Tips

This week sees a total of eight games to be played in the FA Cup Fifth Round, with each game being played until we have a winner declared and a quarterfinalist known. Rule changes made back in 2018 mean that from this stage of the tournament, replays are no longer used to decide the ties with extra time and penalties used instead to decide a winner on the night.

The games have also been moved from their traditional weekend date, into a midweek slot to facilitate the winter break that occurred a couple of weeks ago and they will be played across four nights, from Monday through to Thursday, after which we will know the four quarterfinalists. The quarterfinal draw is set to be made on Wednesday evening, so postponements aside, we should know the four quarterfinals in full by Thursday night.

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FA Cup Fifth Round

All Kick off times are 7.45pm unless stated. All odds shown are courtesy of bet365 Sport as of midday on Monday 2nd March 2020.

Monday 2nd March

Portsmouth v Arsenal

Portsmouth face a big step up in class against Arsenal in the fifth round having beaten Harrogate, Altrincham, Fleetwood and Barnsley to get this far. In contrast, Arsenal have faced two tough ties against Leeds and Bournemouth to reach this stage and although I do have worried about this Arsenal defence, they are generally performing better under Mikel Arteta. The problem Portsmouth have is the Arsenal attack which will have a big point to prove after their Europa League exit last week. I expect the Gunners to win this one comfortably

Correct Score Tip – Portsmouth 0-3 Arsenal – 10/1

Tuesday 3rd March

Chelsea v Liverpool

After last week’s shock defeat at Watford, Liverpool have a point to prove and with the league almost won, I think Jurgen Klopp may well field a much stronger side in this game than he has in other FA Cup ties. Chelsea will be keen to knock Liverpool out of this competition as it is arguably their best chance of silverware, but if Liverpool do play a strong team, they will want to put on a show to remove all bad memories of that Watford loss and I think they could do that here.

Correct Score Tip – Chelsea 1-3 Liverpool – 20/1

Reading v Sheffield United (8pm)

It’s fair to say that if Reading have under-performed in the Championship this season, Sheffield United have done the opposite in the Premier League and for that reason alone, the Blades are my favourites to win this game. Chris Wilder will know his team is close to another big Wembley date and I expect him to name a strong team here. That could be a problem for Reading against one of the best defences in the Premier League and as such, I expect the Blades to come away with a decent win.

Correct Score Tip – Reading 0-2 Sheff Utd – 15/2

West Brom v Newcastle United (8pm)

This is a tough one to predict. Newcastle have proven difficult for anybody but the top teams in the Premier League to beat this season, but they are taking on a West Brom side that are top of the Championship and who have lost just five games this season. I think goals and chances will be at a premium in this game and while I don’t think it will end scoreless, I do feel it may take extra time in order to separate the two sides.

Correct Score Tip – West Brom 1-1 Newcastle (90 mins) – 5/1

Wednesday 4th March

Leicester City v Birmingham City

Leicester have been involved in a number of midland’s derbies of late and not all of them have gone their way. However, against a Birmingham City side sitting 15th in the Championship, I would expect the Foxes to run out comfortable winners here, even if Brendan Rodgers does decide to give some of his first team squad a bit of a rest for the game. Birmingham will try to keep it tight, but I still see Leicester winning comfortably.

Correct Score Tip – Leicester City 3-0 Birmingham City – 13/2

Sheffield Wednesday v Manchester City

After lifting the Carabao Cup on Sunday, Manchester City will be hoping to move a step closer to another Wembley trip as they visit Hillsborough on Wednesday to take on Sheffield Wednesday. The Owls lie 12th in the Championship and they have had a bit of a struggle of late with their form, losing three of their last five. City though are in great shape heading into this game and while they may concede a goal, I still feel they will run out easy winners.

Correct Score Tip – Sheffield United 1-3 Manchester City – 10/1

Tottenham v Norwich City

There’s no doubt that the missing Son and Kane have had a huge impact on Tottenham’s attacking threat but against the Premier League’s bottom club, that may not be such a huge concern. The Canaries are not in the best of form at the moment as their league position suggests and they have bigger fish to fry than the FA Cup. As such, I think Spurs will come through this one relatively unscathed.

Correct Score Tip – Tottenham 2-0 Norwich City – 8/1

Thursday 5th March

Derby County v Manchester United

Wayne Rooney facing his former club is an intriguing sub-plot in this game and Derby do have a history with United having eliminated them from the Carabao Cup last season at Old Trafford. This Derby side is also in better form at the moment and United will be reeling after a poor second half showing at Everton at the weekend. This will be close and I think Derby may get a goal, but I do see United just about scraping the win in normal time.

Correct Score Tip – Derby County 1-2 Man Utd – 15/2


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