Big Clubs Up For The Cup – FA Cup Quarter-Finals
Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal have won 11 of the last 16 FA Cups between them and, as all 3 are in this year Quarter-finals against Premier League opposition – we’ve got tips for all 3 matches.
Everton vs Chelsea (17:30 Saturday 12th March)
Chelsea have won the FA Cup 6 times since Everton last got their hands on it in 1995, and though Everton have been blessed with home advantage this time the big question is – is it enough. This year’s games between the two suggest that it might be as Everton won the corresponding fixture 3-1, whilst also snatching a draw at Stamford Bridge. However, it’s not that quite as cut and dried as Chelsea have improved since the Gus Hiddink took the reins and, though PSG did them on Wednesday night in the Champions League, they’re undefeated away from home in the Premier League in 2016. Meanwhile Everton, be them rather unfortunate against West Ham, have lost their last two home games despite being on a decent run of form themselves. The pair have already met three times in the FA Cup this millennium, with Chelsea winning in a replay in 2006, and in the final in 2009, whilst Everton won on penalties in 2011. Neither team has anything else to play for but, though I’d pick Chelsea to progress, the bet may be for there to be more than 3.5 goals in 90 minutes – as the last three games between the two teams has produced 4, 6 and 6 goals.
Over 3.5 goals @ 11/5 (888Sport)
Arsenal vs Watford (13:30 Sunday 13th March)
Watford fans will point to their 3-1 win away at Arsenal in 1987 as a source of hope and inspiration, but Arsenal have won the last 6 games between the clubs, including beating Watford away 3-0 this season – and the 12 times FA Cup Champions should be up to the task.
Arsenal @ 8/13 (Betfred, Coral)
Manchester United vs West Ham (16:00 Sunday 13th March)
Unlike Everton and Chelsea, both Manchester United and West Ham have the distraction of having a genuine chance of making a Champions League spot this season, and it’s debatable who this FA Cup tie will mean more to. West Ham last lifted the trophy in 1980, since when United have won it 7 times. The pair have met three times this millennium in the FA Cup, with West Ham boasting a 1-0 victory in 2001, whilst United walloped them 6-0 two years later. United also won after a replay in 2013. Although Old Trafford hasn’t traditionally been a happy hunting ground for West Ham, they have taken some big scalps on their travels this season, and will have high hopes after drawing 0-0 here earlier in the season, and sitting 2 points above united in the table. United also have a weakened squad, and it looks worth laying United.
Lay United at 2.02 (Betfair Exchange)