Ahead of an enticing weekend of FA Cup football, I’ve taken a look at three of the more interesting match-ups we have in store:
Arsenal v Coventry
This game should be a formality for Arsenal and I’m sure Arsene Wenger will look to give a few of his key players a much needed rest ahead of a potential tricky away clash at Southampton next Tuesday. Coventry have been in impressive in attack (albeit in League 1), but their leaky defensive is troubling, especially facing one of the best attacking sides in English football. Coventry have conceded an alarming 45 goals in just 26 league games against opposition far inferior to Arsenal this season. The Gunners have been threatening to knock a boat-load past someone all season and this might just be the occasion.
Manchester City v Watford
Watford have struggled mightily in the Championship this season and finds themselves languishing in 15th place, with just one win from their last 10 league matches. The Hornets’ have a real ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ feel about them this year. They rank a very respectable 10th in goals allowed and 8th in goals scored in the Championship, which suggests that this team is probably a little better than their mid-table position suggests. Had this match been at Vicarage Road, City could have been in for a long-afternoon’s football. Travelling to Manchester will make all the difference though. Cities have been superb all season at home, where they are unbeaten in domestic competition and have scored at an astonishing rate – 4 goals per game. With all this in mind, I expect City to find the net a few times again on Saturday. I don’t think Watford have the attacking edge to trouble them at the back and buying City’s supremacy at 2.85 seems like a winner.
Chelsea v Stoke City
The biggest game of the weekend is undoubtedly the all-Premier League clash of Chelsea and Stoke at Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon. The Potters travel to London hopeful of upsetting José Mourinho’s side for the second time this season, having already snatched a late-winner during December’s league clash at the Britannia Stadium. Winning against a top-team away from home is a different challenge altogether though and Stoke’s recent form hardly inspires confidence. They’ve conceded 15 goals, while losing four of their last five matches. A cup weekend will surely provide a welcome break from their ongoing fight to avoid the relegation zone, but they lack the quality to pull an upset here. It could well be a close and scrappy affair but in the end, it’s hard not to see Chelsea edging their way into the hat for the Round 5 draw.
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- Please note the opinion, views and forecasts above are of the author and not of Star Spreads.