Previewing This Weekend’s Best FA Cup Matches (Feb 16-19)
The FA Cup has thrown up a repeat of the 2013 final, as Manchester City face Wigan Athletic on February 19 at the DW Stadium. Ben Watson’s header was enough to secure the trophy for the outsiders as Roberto Martinez’s side upset the odds to create their own fairytale. It’s been far from plain sailing for the Latics since that triumph and they are current plying their trade in the third tier. Paul Cook’s side have lost two games in a row but the prospect of facing the runaway Premier League leaders could have acted as a distraction. The Citizens start at 2/15 with Betfair whilst the hosts are 18/1 to repeat their heroics from five years ago. Sam Morsy was booked on February 13th and the influential midfielder will miss this tie. He has been a vital part of their defensive set-up and the Egyptian will be sorely missed. Manchester City -2 on the handicap is priced at 6/5.
Huddersfield Full of Confidence in West Yorkshire Once Again
David Wagner’s Huddersfield hit four past in-form Bournemouth on February 11, and that resounding victory is likely to give them plenty of confidence ahead of this FA Cup meeting with Manchester United. They have already beaten Jose Mourinho’s side once this campaign and they’ll be hoping to repeat the trick at the John Smith’s Stadium. The visitors are 2/5 to cruise into the next round but they slipped up at St. James’ Park in the Premier League and won’t have it all their own way here. The former Chelsea boss signed a new contract at the club recently and will be gunning for FA Cup glory this season.
Elsewhere, Spurs must go from holding Juventus to a 2-2 draw to facing League One Rochdale at Spotland. Pochettino is likely to make a few changes for this game although he sent out a strong line-up against Newport in the previous round. The Exiles battled well and held the Premier League outfit to a draw at Rodney Parade and Spurs will be aiming to progress at the first time of asking here.
Swansea City, who knocked eight past Notts County during their FA Cup replay, have been rewarded with a tie against Championship outfit Sheffield Wednesday and are the 5/4 favourites to progress. Carlos Carvalhal has had a huge impact since arriving at the Liberty Stadium and will be hoping to get one over on his former employers.