Saturday, 12 March 2016 00:00


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The famous old tournament continues to fly below the radar as the Quarterfinals of FA Cup are scheduled for this weekend. There are matches scheduled in Premier League as well but with seven teams in the final eight from the top flight, expect fireworks all around.


Reading vs Crystal Palace

There is no doubt that both clubs will be desperate to get to Wembley in a season that has been a huge disaster. .

Reading’s push for promotion was dumped long back but the last year FA Cup semi-finalists are pushing hard to match that feat. A win here would give a semblance of satisfaction to the Royals. .

Palace too are with a share of their own problems and come in the midst of a wretched run in the Premier League. Incidentally they remain winless in 2016 and are the only team in the top four divisions with that ignominy. .

A tough one to predict but Royals could spring a surprise here. .

Everton vs Chelsea:

Easily the most glamorous tie of the round, with due regards to all other teams in the round. .

Everton endured a disappointing Premier League campaign but must fancy their chances of progressing further especially since Chelsea are enduring a tough time in the Premier League. .

Chelsea may have improved a lot under Guus Hiddink but their deficiencies are still glaring – as exposed cruelly by PSG in Champions League. Hiddink will hope that his side can overcome the disappointment in the weekend. .

This is one tie that has traditionally produced many goals. The Toffees have already showed their scoring prowess against Chelsea this season netting six from two encounters. Keep an eye on the former Blues’ striker Romelu Lukaku. .

Arsenal vs Watford:

FA Cup seems to be the oasis for Arsene Wenger and the Gunners’ fans in the desert of trophy-less seasons. The twice defending Champions would be hoping for more such luck as they host Watford at the Emirates. .

The Gunners are still counting their chances in Premier League though the trophy looks a mirage for Wenger. A two-goal deficit against Barcelona in Champions League is a difficult proposition to overcome which leaves the FA Cup as their only practical chance of silverware. .

Watford are a tough side but don’t expect them to stun the defending Champions. .

Manchester United vs West Ham United:

An interesting game on the cards at Old Trafford as Manchester United cling desperately to their lone remaining hopes for the season. The Red Devils look out of reckoning for a top four finish and their Europa chances against Liverpool look bleak too. .

Can they turn it against the Hammers? Incidentally, West Ham look better placed than Manchester United to mount a late charge for a top four finish. They have been really good away from home under Slaven Bilic and should fancy their chances. .

United look doomed to another exit. .


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