It’s FA Cup weekend again in England this weekend with sixteen fixtures taking place in the fourth round. The cup is always a chance for unpredictability with smaller teams often playing above their normal levels – who are the FA Cup tips for an upset this weekend?
Derby County vs Leicester City Preview and Tips
It’s been a tough season for the Foxes. They have found it hard to replicate the success of last year and are currently just five places outside the Premier League relegation zone. Derby County on the other hand are once again pushing for a place in the promotion race in the Championship under Steve McClaren.
Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri has a tricky task ahead of him. Some managers will play weakened teams in the FA Cup to protect their stars for the Premier League but with this game being an East Midlands derby there will be pressure from the Foxes fans to play the best team he can.
Derby might be a division below but they’re no mugs. Their record at Pride Park is outstanding; without defeat in any competition since September 24 – a run stretching back nine games and having only conceded two goals in all that time. The fact that those two goals came in their last game at home and they’ve kept eight clean sheets should show their strength.
ProTipster tip: Derby to win a tough game
Southampton v Arsenal Preview and Tips
Southampton have had a busy month, qualifying for the EFL Cup final having beaten Liverpool in their semi-final second leg on Wednesday to go through 2-0 on aggregate. They face an Arsenal side who lag behind in the title race by eight points and who may see the FA Cup as a distraction.
Again, the question with this match will be the strength of teams played. In this case it’s likely both teams will rest players with other things on their mind and as such it’s down to the comparative strength of their second string sides.
It might not just be the second string on the pitch for Arsenal, with Arsene Wenger accepting a misconduct charge from the FA meaning he will likely be banned from the dugout for this game. Granit Xhaka is another who is definitely out having been sent off yet again and facing a four match suspension.
ProTipster tip: Southampton to win out
Sutton United v Leeds United Preview and tips
Sutton United are one of the lowest ranked teams left in the competition. The Surrey based team play in the National League, three tiers below their visitors from Yorkshire. This will be their fifth game in the competition, having already overcome Forest Green Rovers, Dartford, Cheltenham Town and AFC Wimbledon to get this far.
They face a Leeds United team who are flying in the Championship at present. Striker Chris Wood hit his 20th goal of the season against Nottingham Forest on Wednesday night and Garry Monk’s side are very handily placed in the playoff race for promotion to the Premier League.
This game will be all about how Leeds are able to handle playing at the 5,000 capacity Gander Green Lane ground with all expectation upon them. Once again, they may choose to rest players with league action in mind but they will be mindful that Sutton have a history for beating higher class opposition on their own turf.
ProTipster Tip: Leeds to have enough to see off Sutton.