FA Cup quarter finals
|March 16, 2012||Posted by Errol Waters under sport|
So, the FA Cup sixth round matches (better known as the quarter-finals) are upon us. For those who don’t know much about sport, or can’t work out the maths, this means that eight teams are still in the competition, which from over 700 entrants is a good effort! Anyway, rather unsurprisingly seven of the remaining teams are from the Premiership, with only Leicester (currently twelfth in the championship) representing the lower leagues.
Saturday 17th March
Everton vs Sunderland (12:45)
Last time round neither team got this far, with Everton doing the better but still getting knocked out before reaching this stage. These two teams have faced each other already this season in a game that ended 1-1, and hopefully this is a basis for them to build on now. With this competition being a massive positive for both sides I expect two near-to-full-strength squads; taking this into account it should be a fairly even but exciting game. The two Celts, O’Neill and Moyes, will fiercely battle it out for a place in the semi-finals which would be much appreciated by either set of fans. Sunderland fans to come off the happier of the two? Most probably.
Tottenham vs Bolton (17:30)
Tottenham are having an awful run of league form at the moment, having lost three of three. Bolton aren’t that much better, with four losses out of five games, so one of these sides is likely to experience something it hasn’t had much of recently. Bolton are no strangers to this stage in the competition – last year they got knocked out in the semi-finals – so they will be eager to get there again. With Tottenham being the favourites for this game there is no pressure on Bolton and I can see them pulling off a win.
Sunday 18th March
Chelsea vs Leicester (14:05)
This will be a massive test for Leicester, who I think would lose to Chelsea even on a good day owing to the mass of world-class players the richer side has. In the blink of an eye, a killer pass or a phenomenal shot could put the game beyond Leicester – a good performance for them could spark some excitement but sadly it’s not going to happen. Therefore, I think Leicester have more a case of “damage limitation” on their hands and really need to hope they don’t concede early!
Liverpool vs Stoke (16:00)
Last year’s runners-up have again got farther in this competition than they truly deserve! Their football is unattractive and frankly horrible to watch, which is why I hope Liverpool can do as they just did to Everton and dish out some pain. Over their last five games each Stoke appear to be getting the more positive results, but this surely can’t last much longer. Liverpool on merit and player ability should be miles ahead of Stoke and that is going to be made clear on Sunday.