League games are put on pause this weekend for the lucky teams still in one of England’s biggest (and football’s oldest) competitions. Below we take a deep dive into three of the FA Cup fourth round fixtures.
We preview three all-Premier League clashes below.
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Chelsea v Aston Villa – Friday, 19:45
We are starting in West London, where Chelsea welcome Aston Villa to Stamford Bridge. Chelsea will be high in confidence after their recent domination of Championship side Middlesbrough in the second leg of their League Cup semi-final. However, the first leg did see an upset with Middlesbrough winning 1-0 at the Riverside Stadium. Just the week prior to Chelsea losing, Aston Villa beat Middlesbrough in the third round of this competition. A direct line of form can be drawn from these results and would suggest this game is going to be a tight fixture.
Aston Villa failed to put the ball in the back of the net against Everton on the weekend, breaking their 13-game scoring streak. However, Villa have won the last three meetings between these two sides including two wins at Stamford Bridge in 2023. We expect goals in this game on Friday night, at odds of 8/13 both teams to score looks somewhat of a formality, whilst a cracker of a game could see Villa outscore the Blues, with Unai Emery’s side to win 3-2 a generously priced 33/1.
Tottenham v Manchester City – Friday, 20:00
Tottenham Hotspur versus Manchester City is the biggest fixture of the fourth round. Tottenham have been in good form in recent weeks and the return of Rodrigo Bentancur has helped. Spurs came back from behind against Manchester United last week, to take a point home from Old Trafford. They will be excited for this opportunity to go one better against the other side of Manchester in the FA Cup on Friday night.
Manchester City’s recent win away to Newcastle, after being behind, will only add to their confidence and belief of winning every game they play. Kevin De Bruyne’s involvement and influence is a fundamental part of Manchester City’s success, as shown with his two goal involvements against Newcastle when coming on – the Belgian is 5/2 to score anytime here.
This will be a very interesting game and it could go either way; we think that a positive Tottenham line-up and a fast start could catch Manchester City off guard resulting in an early goal. Tottenham to be leading after 15 minutes is 13/2 and to be leading after 30 minutes is 4/1. These selections tie in nicely with Richarlison to score first at 17/2, something the Brazilian has managed twice already this season.
Fulham v Newcastle – Saturday, 19:00
Our third and final game is another fixture between two Premier League sides in the form of Fulham and Newcastle. Fulham put in a valiant performance in their League Cup semi-final against Liverpool at Craven Cottage. The result of that game may have been a loss, but the Cottagers have a lot to take away from it.
Newcastle have been unlucky with their fixture list as they have had Manchester City and Liverpool back-to-back in the league and they didn’t perform badly in either of them. However, they did lose at home to Nottingham Forrest before this, so Fulham could potentially see this as a good time to play Newcastle with the injuries they have within their ranks.
With this game likely to be a tight one a scoreline of 2-1 in favour of the home said could provide value at 11/1. Fulham forward Raul Jimenez was sent off at St James’ Park this season in the Premier League when it was 0-0. He will see this as an opportunity to right his wrongs for the fans and that could spur him on to getting on the scoresheet. The Mexican is 14/1 to score two or more. This will be a tight game and both teams have enough attacking talent to find the back of the net, with Fulham to win and both teams to score 9/2.
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