16 February 2007

FA Cup 5th round predictions

Arsenal v Blackburn, 7:30am, FSC: Both teams will have changes, with both in action last Wednesday and a European game coming up. But no matter who Arsenal puts out, they’ve shown when they’re on their game, they have the class to carve through any defense. And with the profligacy on display against Bolton (2 missed penalties!), they’ll be looking to take more of their chances. Arsenal 2-1
Chelsea v Norwich, 10:00am, FSC: Norwich barely got by Blackpool in the last round, winning after extra time in the replay on Tuesday. Even though Chelsea will probably rest players with an eye on the Champions League game midweek, I imagine they’ll have little problems here. By the way, Chelsea hasn’t yet been away from the Bridge or played Premiership opposition in the FA Cup. Chelsea 3-0
Middlesbrough v West Brom, 10:00am: Bristol City made Boro work far harder than they would have liked to advance to the 5th round, while West Brom is one of the form teams in the Championship, now up to second following Tony Mowbray’s appointment in October. I imagine Gareth Southgate gave them a bollocking following the Bristol City game, but I think he’ll be shouting at the end of this one too. West Brom 2-1
Plymouth v Derby, 10:00am: I know Derby’s played well under Billy Davies, but other than that, I’ve got few clever insights. But given the opportunity, I am never, ever picking against Ian Holloway. Ever. Argyle 2-1
Watford v Ipswich, 10:00am: Given Watford’s all but mathematically eliminated from staying in the Premiership, it’s fair that they drew an Ipswich side struggling in the Championship. Against bigger teams, Watford is frequently forced to play on the back foot, but against Ipswich they should have the opportunity to take their game to the other team. Watford 2-0
Manchester Utd v Reading, 12:15pm, Pay-per-view: This is turning into something of a grudge match. Reading’s played United close twice so far this year, drawing 1-1 at home and only losing 3-2 at Old Trafford. And considering Coppell’s history at United, Reading will certainly be up for this one as well. But United has still been too strong at home this year, and the fact that they had no midweek game means they’re more likely to include players that wouldn’t normally feature, while Reading’s priority will remain keeping up their pace in the league. United 3-1

Preston v Manchester City, 8:10am, delayed on FSC at 11am: It’s gotten to the point where City’s taken Emile Mpenza on trial because their striking corps is so depleted, with Vassell and Dickov injured and Corradi misfiring. But I don’t want to take away from Preston. They are still prospects for promotion and have a hell of a striker in David Nugent, even if he is a blue. If this quote is true about him wearing an Everton top under his Liverpool kit while he was at the Academy, I do hope awful things happen to him. But one of these games has to go to a replay, and this one seems to have the best chance. 1-1
Fulham v Tottenham, 11:00am, PPV: Tottenham’s had a tough go of it recently, losing their last three, two of which were on the road, while Fulham’s been good at home. It’s gotten to the point where Fulham is only one point behind them in the league. The two drew at Craven Cottage earlier, and Fulham’s been notorious for draws this season, but I think they could take this one. Fulham 2-1


Smart said...

As of Saturdays games, you didnt do to bad with that lot!

Dont think many people got the Man U v Reading result right to be fair.

nate said...

you're far too kind. the games i was the closest on involved the teams i've watched the least. and today was a complete stinker.

however, saturday's results mostly went nicely as far as i'm concerned as a fan. arse and united both have to deal with replays, ian holloway's genius was once against affirmed, and i can bask in the grudge i've held against boro since the awful 0-0 draw against liverpool in november.

good times.