FA Cup Quarter Finals: Weekend Preview
The FA Cup quarters are finally among us, and there are some delicious fixtures to tuck into. Sides such as Middlesbrough and Nottingham Forest will be looking to extend their glorious cup runs. While Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea will be looking to add to their growing trophy cabinets.
Middlesbrough vs Chelsea
Middlesbrough have been electric in the FA Cup this season and have faced some tough, tough opponents to get to the last eight. They had Mansfield Town to deal with in the third round. This should’ve been a fairly routine affair, as the sides are two leagues apart, but anything can happen in the FA Cup.
In the 85th minute it was 2-2 and Middlesbrough were chasing it. Eventually, the pressure paid off and they grabbed a winner courtesy of an Elliott Hewitt own goal. A fantastic result.
The 4th round saw them take a trip to Old Trafford, in what was expected to be victory for Man United and the end of Middlesbrough’s FA Cup story.
However, that wasn’t to be the case. A controversially scored goal involving a handball in the build-up sent the tie to extra-time. United heavily took their foot off the gas and the game headed to pens. Middlesbrough kept their composure, scoring every pen until United’s Elanga blazed his spot kick into the stands.
This result lined them up with a visit from Spurs in the fifth round, and once again the odds were stacked against Middlesbrough. Regardless, they defied them. It was 0-0 after 90 minutes, but this time Middlesbrough were determined to avoid pens. Josh Coburn scored the crucial goal and booked Middlesbrough’s place in the quarters.
They have no easy task in the last eight as they face another Premier League big six club, Chelsea. The Blues will be determined to progress in the competition and send a message that despite the Roman Abramovich saga, Chelsea still mean business. Both sides will be well up for it, so will Middlesbrough’s dream continue, or will Chelsea burst their bubble?
Crystal Palace vs Everton
Some may call this game the Donny van de Beek derby, as both clubs were battling for his signature in the January transfer window. Everton prevailed on this occasion, but the Dutch midfielder has failed to set Goodison alight since his loan move.
Everton have been poor since appointing Frank Lampard as manager. They haven’t won a league game since the 12th of February when they breezed past Leeds United 3-0. They have found themselves in a relegation battle despite having a positive transfer window. Frank Lampard will be hoping he can win his first piece of silverware as a manager, which would certainly put his position in less jeopardy.
The last time the sides met was in December 2021 and Crystal Palace got the better of The Toffees on that occasion, winning 3-1. They will be looking to replicate this and slide past Everton for their first Wembley visit since 2016. They made it to the FA Cup final that season but were beaten by Louis van Gaal’s Man United.
This will definitely be a tasty tie, as Palace have a strong frontline with Michael Olise and Wilfred Zaha bang on form. The pair will most certainly be a handful for Everton’s shaky backline. It’s the battle of the former Premier League midfielders Vieira vs Lampard. Both managers are hungry to win and cement legacies at their respective clubs. Everything is set up for a thrilling encounter.
Southampton vs Manchester City
St Mary’s will be bouncing when Man City come to town. The south coast side were underdogs in the previous round when they hosted David Moyes’ West Ham, yet they managed to squeeze past courtesy of goals from Romain Perraud, James Ward-Prowse and Armando Broja. They will be looking to hurt the Cityzens for the third time this season, as the Manchester club have failed to beat Southampton on both occasions that the sides have met.
Whilst Pep Guardiola and his side will be looking to get revenge on the Saints and reach the FA Cup semis for the fourth consecutive season, they haven’t won the competition since 2019 when they annihilated Watford 6-0.
Their path to the quarters has been a fairly easy ride, beating Swindon Town and Fulham 4-1, and most recently beating Peterborough 2-0.
Southampton are their first Premier League opponent in the competition this season. With the possibility of a treble still on the table, City will be ready to take whatever Southampton throws at them as they’ll look to become only the second side in English football history to win the treble. The only other side to have done it? Manchester United, of course.
Southampton will be equally up for it, as they look to win their first piece of silverware since 1976.
Nottingham Forest vs Liverpool
The final tie of the FA Cup match week sees Nottingham Forest play hosts to Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool. The FA Cup has eluded Liverpool for a long time. The Reds haven’t won the competition since 2006 and will be looking to end their 16-year FA Cup drought this season. Liverpool have enjoyed a Wembley final already this season, beating Chelsea in the League Cup final on penalties.
Like City, Liverpool have also had a fairly breezy trip to the last eight. They have been at home for all three fixtures thus far, with two out of the three games coming against lower league opposition.
Nottingham Forest have had an impressive run this season. They started the campaign at home to Arsenal and performed brilliantly. They kept the visitors at bay with an exceptional defensive display, restricting Arsenal from having a single shot on target. They hit Arsenal late on, in a true smash and grab style, scoring in minute 83.
The next round was personal for Forest, as they hosted rivals Leicester City. The first time the sides had met since 2014, when the Foxes were in the Championship. To many people’s surprise, Forest obliterated Leicester, winning by a comfortable 4-1 margin. No one was expecting that. This result sent them to a fifth-round tie with Huddersfield, another side desperate for Premier League promotion. First half goals from Surridge and Yates were enough to see them off, winning 2-1.
Liverpool will throw everything at this game as they look to progress and play their second Wembley game of the season. The quadruple is on for Liverpool as they remain strong candidates to win each remaining competition, but it will be at tough test against Forest.
Where can I watch the FA Cup Quarter Finals live in the UK?
Every FA Cup fixture is free to watch! But where? In the UK here is where you can watch every match from the FA Cup Quarter Finals live on TV:
- Saturday 19th March- Middlesbrough vs Chelsea– BBC One, BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport website. Live at 17:15.
- Sunday 20th March- Crystal Palace vs Everton– ITV, ITV Hub, STV and STV player. Live at 12:30
- Sunday 20th March- Southampton vs Man City- BBC One, BBC Two Wales, BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport website. Live at 15:00.
- Sunday 20th March- Nottingham Forest vs Man City– ITV, STV, ITV Hub, STV Player. Live at 18:00.
It’s set to be an exciting weekend of FA Cup football, lots of points to prove and dreams to fulfil. Will we see more FA Cup magic and see Middlesbrough and Forest knock out two more giants? Or will the Premier League clubs show why they’re at the top of the English football pile.
It’s all to play for, with a place at Wembley on the line. Get ready for some great football!
Author: Jude Sutcliffe