Thirty-two teams remain in England’s most prestigious cup competition and after a third round full of upsets, where 19 teams outside the top flight will be vying for a place in the fifth round while the remaining thirteen Premier League sides may view this FA cup campaign as their best chance to win some silverware.
As ever with the FA Cup, some exciting matches were drawn with Arsenal pitted against Manchester United, AFC Wimbledon host West Ham United and Burnley take on Manchester City looking for revenge having tasted defeat to the Citizens in last year’s FA Cup.
Our football expert takes a look at some of the best bets from this weekend’s fixtures.
Friday, 19:55pm – Arsenal v Manchester United
It’s not often two teams of this calibre meet so early in the competition but that epitomises the magic of the FA Cup. With both sides out of the title race, the FA Cup presents an opportunity for both clubs to pick up some silverware and with 25 FA Cup wins between them, all eyes will be on this mouth-watering clash tonight.
Under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, United have won seven on the spin and despite a victory away from home against Tottenham, you could argue this will be his toughest test since he took the job. Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba have been instrumental lately and they’ll be key if United are to progress here. Ole Gunnar’s men could make it eight wins in a row this evening, and with Grosvenorsport.com, a United win can be backed at 13/8.
Arsenal will want to keep the momentum going after their 2-0 victory over Chelsea last weekend. Their win in the third round against Blackpool saw a much changed side but Unai Emery is expected to field a strong XI this time round and the Gunners head into this one at 6/4 for the win.
With both sides on equal points in the league, it’s tricky to call the winner for this match. Having been on the sidelines recently, Alexis Sanchez will be desperate to play and he’ll want to put in a good performance against his former club. I think the Chilean will be a big threat in this one and I’ll back him to score anytime at 9/4.
Saturday, 15:00pm – Manchester City v Burnley
These two sides met each other in the third round of the competition last season with Man City triumphing 4-1. Revenge will be on the agenda for Sean Dyche’s side but they face a tough ask to get a result here against a City side who are still in with a shout to win the quadruple.
A win in midweek saw the Citizens reach the Carabao Cup final for a second year running and you can guarantee Pep Guardiola will put a strong team out in search of his first FA Cup. His side go in massive favourites at 1/12.
While an FA cup run would appeal to every Burnley fan, staying in the Premier League is the priority for the Clarets with just three points separating themselves from the relegation zone. Still unbeaten in 2019, Burnley will be up against it and they are a 22/1 shot with Grosvenorsport.com
Dating back to 1974, Burnley have beaten Manchester City just once in 20 meetings between the sides. Burnley lack firepower up top, so I’m backing Guardiola’s men to win 2-0 here which can be backed at 13/2.
Saturday, 17:45pm – AFC Wimbledon v West Ham
Rooted to the bottom of League One, AFC Wimbledon welcome West Ham to Kingsmeadow with no pressure on them as they look to produce a famous FA cup upset against the Hammers, a side 58 places above The Dons in the Football League.
A last-minute winner from Kwesi Appiah saw the Dons progress through to this stage and it would be nothing short of a miracle for history to repeat itself tomorrow night. New manager Wally Downes will know his opponents very well having been first team coach for the Hammers under Sam Allardyce and his side are 5/1 underdogs.
With safety secured for West Ham, a European place could be in reach for the Hammers but an FA Cup run should firmly be on the agenda for Manuel Pellegrini’s men. After 11 incoming transfers from the summer, the Irons have added good depth to their squad and while Pellegrini may rest some key stars, their starting team should still be strong enough to win this game and they go in favourites at 1/2.
Despite not getting much game time, Andy Carroll got on the scoresheet in the last round and I expect the same again this weekend. Carroll can be a handful for any defenders and I think 5/4 to score anytime is good value.
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