The quarter-finals of the 2020-21 Emirates FA Cup will all take place this weekend and we have some cracking matches in store. On Saturday, we have a south coast derby as Bournemouth and Southampton meet at the Vitality Stadium. Later in the day we have a huge clash, as Everton and Manchester City do battle at Goodison Park. On Sunday Chelsea host Sheffield United in what could prove a really tough test for the rudderless Blades. Then, in what is probably the tie of the round, Leicester City and Manchester United lock horns in a clash between teams currently third and second respectively.
Bournemouth v Southampton
12:15, BT Sport, Vitality Stadium
EFL Championship side Bournemouth entertain Premier League Southampton at the Vitality on Saturday afternoon. The Cherries are pushing for promotion, while the Saints are currently seven points above the drop zone. These teams may be in different divisions but there is not a huge gulf in class between them. Throw in the fact that the Saints bare in woeful form and have a number of key injuries and there might be a case to say that actually the Championship side are the real favourites here.
Southampton have picked up just five wins in 2021, with three of those coming in the FA Cup. Bournemouth beat Premier League Burnley away from home in the previous round, and we fancy Jonathan Woodgate’s troops to squeeze past the Saints on Saturday. They picked up a massive 3-0 win against high-flying Swansea on Tuesday night and will be full of confidence for this one. Put a few quid on the hosts to win by exactly one at 5/1 or play it safe and simply back the home win.
Everton v Manchester City
17:30, BT Sport, Goodison Park
Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton and Pep Guardiola’s Man City do battle in a tasty FA Cup fixture at Goodison Park on Saturday evening. As you would expect, City are the clear favourites to get the win and book their spot in the last four. City are the overwhelming favourites to lift this trophy yet again and in their current form it really is hard to see how anyone can stop them. The Toffees would love to lift a trophy but given their home record this season and the fact they have a few key injuries, we cannot see them troubling the quadruple-chasing Cityzens.
The Blues are having a solid season under Ancelotti, even if they have stuttered in recent weeks, but the runaway Premier League leaders are on fire at the minute, winning 24 of their last 25 league and cup encounters. In Everton’s favour, it is mainly against the weaker sides when they have been worst. They have achieved some big results against the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Leicester, Spurs and Liverpool, although City did ease past them 3-1 in the league in February. The Manchester heavyweights will be targeting another easy victory this weekend. With the hosts without Jordan Pickford and possibly their second choice keeper too, this could be a long night for Everton fans. Take a punt on Man City to be winning at half time and full time (20/21).
Chelsea v Sheffield United
13:30, BBC One, Stamford Bridge
Sunday’s first FA Cup fixture sees Chelsea and Sheffield United lock horns at Stamford Bridge. Thomas Tuchel has had an excellent impact in west London since arriving, and the Blues should have no problems in this one. The German has made them very difficult to score against, whilst their array of attacking players means they are always capable of scoring.
These two met in league action just last month, with Chelsea running out 2-1 winners at Bramall Lane. At the Bridge back in November, the Londoners thumped the Blades 4-1. Given the recent results of both sides, we have to fancy a big home win like that so put some money on Chelsea to win -1 again at solid odds of 8/11.
Leicester City v Manchester United
17:00, BBC One, King Power Stadium Stadium
It is a case of saving the best until last in the FA Cup this weekend and this should be a cracker. Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Man United meet at the King Power Stadium in the standout FA Cup tie of the weekend. The in-form Red Devils are the slight favourites and head into the clash one point better off than the Foxes in the Premier League.
There has hardly been anything to split these two in the Premier League this season. After 29 games, the battle for second is well and truly on and looks likely to be between these two. The pair drew 2-2 at the King Power in the league on Boxing Day, and we fancy this one to be level after 90 minutes. It isn’t a result either manager would want but with nothing between them, it is the value bet here. Back the draw and both teams to score at big odds of 10/3.