Midweek Football Preview

Cup games!

FA Cup 5th Round

Portsmouth vs. Arsenal

Portsmouth sit 3rd in League One as they are looking to return to the Championship after some really bad times in football. Portsmouth beat Barnsley 4-2 in the last round and have since won 7 of their games while losing 2. Arsenal just about managed to beat Bournemouth 1-2 in the last round and have since won 3 of their games while drawing 1 and losing 1. Arsenal did not play this weekend as City were involved in the Carabao Cup final so Arteta should have a rested squad for the Monday night game. It is an interesting fixture with the two teams in good form and an away trip in the FA Cup against a weaker team is always tricky. Arsenal are beatable and Portsmouth will know that as they look to cause an FA Cup upset. 

West Brom vs. Newcastle

West Brom sit 1st in the Championship as they seek promotion to the Premier League for next season. The home side beat West Ham 0-1 in the last round and have since won 5 of their games while drawing 1 and losing 2. Newcastle beat Oxford United 2-3 in a replay and have since lost 2 and drawn 1 game. West Brom are clearly the team in better form and while Newcastle might have the history and stature behind them I expect West Brom to go through on their form and the fact that they are at home. 

Reading vs. Sheffield United

Reading sit 16th in the Championship as they entertain Sheffield who are well rested after not having played last weekend. Reading beat Cardiff on penalties in a replay and have since won 2 games drawn 1 and lost 3. Sheffield beat Millwall 0-2 in the last round and have since played 3 games winning 2 and drawing 1. This should be a straightforward win for Sheffield as they look to enter the next round. 

Tottenham vs. Norwich

An all Premier League clash as Tottenham take on Norwich. Tottenham beat Southampton 3-2 in a replay and have since won 1 of their last 4 games while losing the other 3. Norwich beat Burnley 1-2 in the last round and have since won 1 drawn 1 and lost 2 of their games. Tottenham are a team in need of a win as Mourinho’s best chance at ending Spurs trophyless run comes in the FA Cup. Norwich finally managed a win during the weekend as they beat Leicester and will feel that this fixture is a freebie. I expect Tottenham to struggle for the win but they should get past Norwich. Norwich though can cause an upset as the pressure is not on them to perform.

Leicester vs. Birmingham

Leicester beat Brentford 0-1 in the last round and have since drawn 2 and lost 3 of their games. Birmingham sit 15th in the Championship and beat Coventry on penalties in a replay to reach this round. They have since won 2 and drawn 4 of their games. Two teams in poor form although one is unbeaten and that is the Championship team. Similar to Norwich Brimingham can go into his game with no pressure as Leicester are the ones who need to end their poor form. An open game that Leicester should win although an upset in the FA Cup is never far away. 

Sheffield Wednesday vs. Man City

Sheffield sit 12th in the Championship as they beat QPR 1-2 in the last round and have since won 1 drawn 3 and lost 4. Man City beat Fulham 4-0 in the last round have since won 4 of their games while losing 2 as well. City should win this game at the end of the day and read the next round without any issues. 

Derby County vs. Man United

Derby are 13th in the Championship as they beat Northampton 4-2 in a replay to reach this round. Derby have since won 2 drawn 2 and lost 2 of their games. Man United beat Tranmere 0-6 in the last round and have since won 4 of their games while drawing 3. United are clearly the team in better form as they visit Derby who have a certain Wayne Rooney in their ranks. This should be a fun game and Derby will know that a defeat is not always far at Man United at the moment. Derby should use their home advantage and could end the day by reaching the next round. 

Copa Del Rey Semi Final 2nd Leg

Mirandes entertain Real Sociedad with Real in the driving seat having won the 1st leg 2-1. Mirandes did get an away goal though and a solid home performance could see them reach the final. In all honesty though Real Sociedad should get some goals as well and reach the final. Granada entertain Atheltic Bilbao with the 1st leg having ended 1-0, Bilbao are in the driving seat and an away goal would make it a tough task for Granada to reach the final. I expect the two away teams to make it to the final. 

Coppa Italia Semi Final 2nd Leg

Juventus welcome Milan with the first leg having ended 1-1. Juventus have barely played since then and our struggling for some form while Milan have also been dodgy in recent weeks. It should be an open game with the pressure on Sarri and Juventus to deliver. Inter travel to Napoli with the score at 1-0. Napoli have the away goal and Conte and co have it all to do as they look to reach the final having barely played over the last two weeks. These two fixtures are two close to call and anyone could reach the final although it remains to be seen whether the games are played due to the threat of the Coronavirus. 

DFB Pokal Quarter Final

Fortuna Dusseldorf travel to Saarbrucken, Bayern travel to Schalke, Leverkusen entertain Union Berlin, and Frankfurt welcome Werder Bremen. Fortuna, Bayern, Leverkusen, and Frankfurt should reach the semis in my opinion with the other teams having been poor this season and Saarbrucken being from a lower league. 

Coupe De France Semi Final

Lyon welcome PSG while St.Etienne entertain Rennes. Two high profile semi finals with Lyon always a threat on their day and PSG front runners in one fixture. The other fixture has St.Etienne who are a decent team while Rennes are the current holders. Rennes should reach the final but Lyon PSG is a game that is too close to call. 

 

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