The FA Cup has reached the quarter-final stage – and fans can’t help but dream of Wembley.
One more win takes teams under the arch for the semi-final (though a draw between Swansea and Tottenham would see a replay at Tottenham’s temporary home for the season), and within touching distance of the trophy.
Our football betting expert has picked out his best tips from the quarter-final matches.
Leicester v Chelsea
Chelsea’s Champions League elimination at Barcelona on Wednesday, and dip in form in the Premier League, means only the FA Cup will do for the famously impatient owner Roman Abramovich.
Antonio Conte, who lost in the final last season, may need to deliver the trophy to keep his job past the summer – though judging by his demeanour this term, he may not want to.
Chelsea come into their FA Cup clash with Leicester as slight favourites, at 27/25 with Grosvenorsport.com.
While anything less than delivering trophies is judged as a failure at Chelsea, the pressure is off for the Foxes, despite their Premier League title just two seasons ago.
Quality from that league win still remains, with Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy able to upset anyone on their day.
Leicester are 5/2 to claim victory here.
One of the big differences from that title is that N’Golo Kante will be lining up against them, rather than for them on Sunday.
The quality of Kante, and the red-hot form of Willian, should see Chelsea through.
Whether they can keep Vardy and Mahrez quiet throughout remains to be seen – and I’ll be backing Chelsea to win and both teams to score at 3/1.
Swansea v Tottenham
Tottenham haven’t won the FA Cup since 1991 – and Mauricio Pochettino needs to turn the promise of his talented squad into tangible trophies sooner rather than later.
Spurs are out of Europe and well behind Man City in the Premier League, meaning they can focus all their energies on this competition.
Pochettino’s men are 1/6 to progress here.
This game may be more of a distraction for Swansea, who are battling to save their Premier League status.
With relegation rivals in league action on Saturday while they miss a game week, boss Carlos Carvalhal could well have his attention elsewhere.
The Swans are a huge 7/1 to win this one in 90 minutes.
Harry Kane is out injured – which should give a chance to Heung-Min Son to play through the middle.
The Korean has been in sparkling form, scoring seven goals in his last four games, and could get on the scoresheet again in south Wales.
Back him to score first at 19/5.
Manchester United v Brighton
It’s a repeat of the 1983 FA Cup final as Man United host Brighton – a match famous for Gordon Smith missing a golden chance in the last minute of extra-time to claim victory for the Seagulls. (United went on to win the replay).
That was the closest Brighton have ever come to winning a major trophy – and with a trip to Old Trafford here, they’re unlikely to get any closer this time around.
Chris Hughton’s men are 19/2 to win this one.
United were dumped out of the Champions League by Sevilla on Tuesday night, and the ill-feeling from that passive display could haunt them again.
The Red Devils are as short as 1/9 to go through – but they may have to work for it.
I think they’ll probably progress, but the lack of attacking intent midweek, allied with Brighton’s brave defending, means we’re unlikely to see many goals.
Back under 2.5 goals at evens – or a correct score of 2-0 to United at 5/1.
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