The hottest games of the weekend are definitely over at the FA Cup, where eight teams are going to battle it out in order to advance to the semi-final. The two-times defending champions Arsenal would no doubt fancy a third consecutive title, but they aren’t the only ones who have their eyes set on the prize. There are games to be played first, so let’s take a look at that!
Reading against Crystal Palace
A re-match is long overdue as it has been four years since the last time these two teams played together, and three more on top of that since Crystal Palace walked away victorious. Out of their five last fixtures, the most recent are three-in-a-row draws and two victories by Reading before that, but according to the TonyBet bookies, Crystal Palace should clock in a win: their odds at a victory are at 5/4 against 9/7 that the Royals got.
The Eagles are currently 15th in the Premier League while Reading – 14th in the second division Championship. Even though Crystal Palace’s position is lower, their competition is stronger – but then they have been really struggling and haven’t won a game since December 19th. The Royals, however, aren’t donning any purple anytime soon either, and since both squads have a few injuries on their hands, the game should be a tough fixture for both of them.
Everton against Chelsea
Now Chelsea has just had their Champions League hopes destroyed by PSG and their Premier League run doesn’t look like it will allow them to qualify for the next season. FA Cup remains the only title that they can still hope to acquire this time around, but first, there’s Everton to get through. The TonyBet bookies think that the Toffees have a better chance at going through, with their odds at a win being at 13/10 vs the 2/1 that the Blues got.
After Guus Hiddink has been appointed, Chelsea hasn’t lost a single Premier League game, but they also lost Diego Costa to an injury during the unfortunate PSG fixture. Everton is doing relatively well there, too: they have won three out of their five last games, but they’ve also lost two, of which one was to West Brom. Still, they are not going to give this victory away, and Chelsea has one tough match ahead of them.
Arsenal against Watford
All quiet on the Gunners’ front – they’re in yet another injury crisis. Despite that, this match is the one that has the strongest favourite to win, as Arsenal were given the odds of 57/100 for powering through and triumphing, while Watford got a far less hopeful 97/20. Can the Hornets really not sting their weakened opponents though?
Even though the healthy Arsenal players have managed to pull the team through so far, it must be taking a toll on them, and to be fair, their recent results are definitely starting to reflect that. However, Watford isn’t exactly shining either, and the last six times that these two teams have met, the Gunners won straight up – so even though they’re not on their top form, this game is one that they can definitely manage to win.
Man United against West Ham
The last game of this round is certainly not the least interesting, in fact, it’s quite the opposite. Man United has already played vs West Ham two times this season in the Premier League, and both times the matches were drawn. Now before that the Red Devils had won three consecutive fixtures against the Hammers, and according to the bookies, this scenario will repeat itself again as the odds for their win are at 9/10 vs the 13/14 that West Ham got.
Man United has been on quite a bit of a rollercoaster lately in Premier League: their most recent match was a loss to West Brom, and they have lost to Sunderland rather recently, too – but then managed to produce a solid win against Arsenal. West Ham on the other hand sports three-in-a-row wins, and against teams like Tottenham and Everton no less, so it’s pretty likely that this match is not going to be all that easy for the Red Devils.
If the predictions come out to be right, we are going to see Crystal Palace, Everton, Arsenal, and Man United going through to the semi-finals. However, this season has already proven that there‘s always a surprise around the corner when it comes to English football, and the only way to find out is to tune in – it‘s going to be brilliant football, after all!