FA Cup Preview: Four barnstorming ties in store for this weekend’s quarter-final feast

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The Premier League takes a backseat this weekend as our focus switches to the FA Cup, with the quarter-finals of the competition dominating the agenda across Saturday and Sunday. 

There are four extremely attractive fixtures in the offing, with Championship sides Coventry and Leicester – who of course won the competition in 2021 – hoping to cause upsets when they take on Wolves and Chelsea respectively. 

Coventry have been free-scoring in this season’s competition, netting a total of 16 goals in their four games against Oxford United, Sheffield Wednesday (across two legs) and most recently non-league Maidstone United in the fifth round. 

The Sky Blues have enjoyed a positive campaign to date and find themselves firmly in the Championship promotion picture having narrowly missed out on going up last year by losing the play-off final on penalties against Luton. 

Mark Robins’ side are eighth as things stand but only a point outside of the top-six after 37 games. They head into this week’s FA Cup showdown on the back of two victories in the second tier after thumping basement-dwelling Rotherham United 5-0 and Watford 2-1 in the previous week. 

In Wolves, though, Coventry face a side who have also impressed this season, with Gary O’Neil getting a real tune out of a side bulging with exciting talent. The West Midlanders are ninth in the top-flight after 28 games and certainly in contention for a European finish, trailing sixth-placed Manchester United by six points and seventh-placed West Ham by just two. 

Making it through to the semi-final of an FA Cup would be the first time Coventry have achieved such a feat in over ten years, whilst Wolves’ last run to the last-four of this competition was five years ago, when they made it to the semis but lost 3-2 to Watford in extra-time. Whatever the outcome, tremendously, we will see a team outside of the traditional ‘Big Six’ present in an FA Cup semi-final this season. Heartwarming stuff. 

Later on Saturday, Manchester City do battle with Newcastle United in a repeat of the Carabao Cup final third round earlier this term, where the Magpies caused a shock by running out 1-0 winners and – somewhat rudely – thwarted the Cityzens’ chances of winning the quadruple this season. 

City look as bright as ever at the minute, though, and while they didn’t have enough to see out the win in Sunday’s title-showdown against Liverpool – drawing 1-1 after initially going ahead in the first half – they will have their eyes set firmly on going the distance in the FA Cup this season and will fancy their chances of defeating a Newcastle side who have struggled with consistency of late and still have some pretty significant injury woes to contend with. 

Two games then fill the slate on Sunday, with a repeat of the 2020/21 final kick-starting proceedings at lunchtime as Championship leaders Leicester make the journey south to take on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Despite an explosive start, the Foxes have found life a little tough at the top of late, with some wavering form to blame for the gap shortening at the summit of the second tier to just three points. Squeaky bum time indeed. 

Three defeats, a draw and one win populates the recent form book for the East Midlands outfit, so this weekend’s FA Cup quarter-final will be a welcome distraction for a squad who could perhaps relish a gentle reset. Chelsea’s season is in stark danger of fizzling out to nothing more than another underwhelming mid-table finish, with their only opportunity of claiming some silverware coming courtesy of this competition. 

Mauricio Pochettino must go all out to win the FA Cup this season if he is to resurrect some external belief in his ability to lead this Chelsea team back to glory moving forward, and a defeat here would be potentially catastrophic for his position in the Blues’ hot seat. 

The fourth and final quarter-final is undoubtedly the pick of the bunch. Sunday afternoon, Manchester United vs Liverpool. Two sides with the fiercest of rivalries who have between them laid claim to 20 FA Cup trophies – with United’s 12 triumphs behind only Arsenal (14) in the history books – meet at Old Trafford for what should be an enthralling battle.

Much like Chelsea, United – who made the final last year but were beaten by City – are reliant on this competition to win a trophy this season, so will be desperate for a result in front of their adoring fans. With just one defeat to their name in their last 21 games across all competitions, Jurgen Klopp’s dominant Reds are looking like an immovable force at present. If United do manage to breach them, though, a 13th trophy could well be heading to the Theatre of Dreams come May.

FA Cup Quarter-Finals


Wolverhampton Wanderers 12:15 Coventry City

Manchester City 17:30 Newcastle United


Chelsea 12:45 Leicester City

Manchester United 15:30 Liverpool

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