West Ham head to Old Trafford in quarter final – Premier League & FA Cup weekend preview

on 11.03.2016

There is both Premier League and FA Cup action on offer this weekend, as important matches continue to come thick and fast.

Liverpool have a match-free weekend, and they can keep themselves fresh for their Europa League second-leg showdown with Man United next Thursday, having won 2-0 at Anfield in Thursday’s first-leg.

There are, however, many interesting matches on offer in both the Premier League and FA Cup over the next four days.

The league is intriguing at both the top and bottom of the table, while in the cup, clubs will know they are just one win from a semi-final date at Wembley.

It should be a highly entertaining long weekend of action, with matches on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Can Leicester keep going?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Boxing Day, Saturday, December 26, 2015: Leicester City's manager Claudio Ranieri before the Premier League match against Liverpool at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

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Table-toppers Leicester continued their remarkable 2015/16 campaign with a 1-0 win at Watford last weekend, with Footballer of the Year contender Riyad Mahrez scoring the game’s only goal.

Tottenham’s 2-2 draw at home to Arsenal means the Foxes are now five points clear at the top, and genuine favourites to win the Premier League. It really is astonishing.

Claudio Ranieri’s men host relegation-threatened Newcastle on Monday night, in what on paper looks like a routine win for Leicester.

Former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez is set to replace Steve McClaren as manager in time for the game, however, which could make things trickier. Can the Spaniard keep the Mapgies in the division?

Spurs had a real chance to knock rivals Arsenal out of the title race last weekend, leading 2-1 with 10 men, but Alexis Sanchez’s equaliser saw both north London clubs drop points at White Hart Lane.

It is getting to the stage where Mauricio Pochettino’s side cannot afford to lose more ground on Leicester, and victory at bottom-of-the-table Aston Villa is paramount.

The same applies to Man City, who are not quite out of the reckoning yet, and they visit struggling Norwich on Saturday lunchtime.

The remaining fixtures see Bournemouth host Swansea, with both teams now surely safe from relegation, and Stoke welcome Southampton to the Britannia Stadium.

In the FA Cup quarter-finals, the standout clash is Everton against Chelsea at Goodison Park, which is extremely difficult to predict.

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Both sides can be either excellent or dreadful on their day, and it could come down to a moment of brilliance or a defensive error.

Arsenal are looking to win the competition for a third straight time, and will expect to overcome Watford at the Emirates, while Man United host in-form West Ham on Sunday afternoon.

Crystal Palace’s trip to Reading on Friday evening is the least eye-catching of the four quarter-final match-ups, but the lure of Wembley is sure to make it a tense, unpredictable contest.

There is live football everywhere you look this weekend.

Full Fixtures & TV Info

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, November 30, 2014: Tottenham Hotspur's manager Mauricio Pochettino during the Premier League match against Everton at White Hart Lane. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Premier League

Norwich vs. Man City – Saturday 12:45pm, Sky Sports 1

Bournemouth vs. Swansea – Saturday 3pm

Stoke vs. Southampton – Saturday 3pm

Aston Villa vs. Tottenham – Sunday 4pm

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Leicester vs. Newcastle – Monday 8pm, Sky Sports 1

FA Cup

Reading vs. Crystal Palace – Friday 7:55pm, BBC One

Everton vs. Chelsea – Saturday 5:30pm, BBC One

Arsenal vs. Watford – Sunday 1:30pm, BT Sport 2

Man United vs. West Ham – Sunday 4pm, BT Sport 2

Fantasy Football Tips

Jamie Vardy has hit a slight dip in form in recent weeks, scoring a solitary penalty in his last five appearances.

The Leicester striker will come roaring back against a poor Newcastle side, though, inspiring his side to victory. Some may be losing faith with having the 29-year-old in their fantasy football team, but he will deliver on Monday.

Man City’s season has been a hugely inconsistent one, and Raheem Sterling has been very up and down since his big-money move from Liverpool last summer.

He scored against Villa last weekend, though, and will be confident heading to Carrow Road on Saturday. Sterling may play a starring role at Norwich, and is a cheaper option than both Sergio Aguero and David Silva.

Stoke’s home clash with Southampton has the feel of a fairly tedious game about it, with both sides not having much to play for between now and the end of the season.

It is likely to be a low-scoring contest, and selecting Saints left-back Ryan Bertrand would be a shrewd move. The Englishman is solid defensively and can also win you points with his attacking prowess.

Villa are an absolute shambles this season, and Spurs should be eyeing up a comfortable victory at Villa Park on Sunday afternoon.

Their Europa League excursions in Dortmund will see Pochettino make changes, with Nacer Chadli likely to feature. The Belgian has eight goals this season, and stands a good chance of adding to his tally in the Midlands.

Liverpool 2-0 Man United


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