Friday, 17 February 2012

FA Cup 5th Round Fixtures and Previews:


FA Cup 5th Round Previews:

Tomorrow:

15:00pm (unless stated) 

Chelsea vs Birmingham City: LIVE at 12:30pm
Defender John Terry looks unlikely to be risked for the match against Birmingham, despite recovering from the knee injury that has sidelined him for three weeks.
Ashley Cole (calf) is unable to play tomorrow.
Strikers Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou will only be available in the midweek tie against Napoli after returning from African Cup of Nations duty, but midfielder Ramires could return from a knee injury against Birmingham.

Birmingham will be without front-line strikers Nikola Zigic (knee) and Marlon King (groin).
Adam Rooney is set to bolster the attack as npower Championship play-off contenders City look to secure a quarter-final spot for the third successive season via a major upset.

Chelsea will hope to move swiftly from their current (let's just say) 'interesting' form of late with a comfortable win against Championship opposition. It may not be routine against the power of Adam Rooney and co though who have secured a quarter-final place in the FA Cup for the past two years.



Everton vs Blackpool:
Everton will be without midfielder Steven Pienaar for Saturday's FA Cup fifth-round tie at Goodison Park because the winger, on loan from Tottenham, is cup-tied.
Midfielder Landon Donovan is available for the last time before he returns to the Los Angeles Galaxy, but illness could rule him out. Striker Nikica Jelavic misses out due to pubalgia (which is a groin problem)
Young playmaker Seamus Coleman could feature for The Toffees having overcome a thigh problem, but defender Shane Duffy has an ankle complaint and joins an injury list that also includes Jack Rodwell (hamstring), Leon Osman and Phil Jagielka (both knee)
Everton will be expecting to win against a lower side. To say the least...!

Millwall vs Bolton Wanderers:

Bolton forward Kevin Davies has been ruled out of the 5th round tie at Millwall due to a knee injury.
Owen Coyle has revealed that he sustained medial ligament damage in the 2-1 loss to Wigan last week. Defender Tyrone Mears is facing more time on the sidelines after suffering a setback in his recovery from a broken leg.
New striker Marvin Sordell is cup-tied, but defender Joe Riley may feature having regained his fitness after a groin problem and there could be first Bolton starts for two January signings in centre-back Tim Ream, who would make his debut and on-loan winger Ryo Miyaichi.
Bolton's new strengthed side should have enough to see off Millwall, and a place in the Quarter-finals would boost the board of directors' faith in under-fire manager Owen Coyle. 





Norwich City vs Leicester City: 
Norwich will have striker James Vaughan in the squad to face Leicester in Saturday's FA Cup tie after five months on the sidelines with a knee injury.
The Canaries are still without Daniel Ayala (hamstring) and Zak Whitbread (hamstring).
Norwich will be praying that their current form in the EPL, may continue in the FA Cup tomorrow.




Sunderland vs Arsenal: LIVE at 17:30pm
Arsenal are without centre-backs Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny for tomorrow's FA Cup fifth-round tie away at Sunderland.
Mertesacker (ankle) is out for the long term, according to manager Arsene Wenger, while Koscielny (knee) should be missing for only one week.
Gervinho returns from African Nations Cup duty, but defenders Carl Jenkinson (back) and Andre Santos (ankle) are still out, along with midfielders Abou Diaby (hamstring) and Jack Wilshere (ankle). Thierry Henry has completed his loan spell from New York Red Bulls and is back in America much to Arsenal supporters discontent (as they feel the spell was too sort for the legend).
Midfielder Lee Cattermole could be back in the Sunderland squad after recovering from a hamstring injury.
Striker Nicklas Bendtner is on loan from The Gunners so he is ineligible for the fifth-round clash at the Stadium of Light.
David Vaughan (ankle) is still out as are Wes Brown (knee) and Titus Bramble (Achilles).



Sunderland gave Arsenal a run for their money in the EPL last week, with an unlucky 2-1 loss thanks to Aaron Ramsey and Thierry Henry's late goals. They want revenge against an Arsenal side who have lost morale after their humilating 4-0 loss on Wednesday against AC Milan.

Sunday:

Crawley Town vs Stoke City: LIVE at 12:00pm
Stoke boss Tony Pulis will rotate his squad after the 1-0 defeat to Valencia yesterday in Spain for the trip to Crawley on Sunday.
Defender Matthew Upson could be involved after serving a European ban, while fellow centre-back Robert Huth will sit out the second of his three-match domestic suspension, but goalkeeper Asmir Begovic is likely to keep his place. Stoke have to monitior the fitness of midfielder Dean Whitehead after he sustained a nasty gash to his leg yesterday against Valencia in a clash. 




Stevenage vs Tottenham Hotspur: LIVE at 14:00pm
Rafael van der Vaart has failed to overcome a calf injury and will miss the match against Stevenage on Sunday.
Defender Younes Kaboul is struggling with a knee injury and captain Ledley King is likely to be rested, meaning Ryan Nelsen should start his first game for his new club.
Forward Louis Saha did not play for Everton in the FA Cup earlier this season and he is therefore available this weekend, but long-term absentees William Gallas (calf) and Tom Huddlestone (ankle) are out.
Spurs are in-form this season and could even win the EPL for the first time since, since.... err... 1950.
If they lose to Stevenage, they will be livid as they will want every trophy possible this season....



Liverpool vs Brighton and Hove Albion: LIVE at 16:30pm
Maxi Rodriguez could make his return to the Liverpool team in this weekend's FA Cup fifth-round clash with Brighton at Anfield.
Midfielder Rodriguez has not featured since the end of January due to a foot problem, in the 2-1 win against United in the 4th round.
Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has indicated that young defenders Jon Flanagan and Jack Robinson may come into his thinking for the tie.
The Reds will expect to win comfortably after beating rivals Manchester United in the 4th Round, but Brighton will be hoping to keep Liverpool busy throughout the match and hopefully pull off an upset (which they nearly did in the 3rd round of the Carling Cup)


My Predictions:


Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal, Chelsea, Stoke, Everton, Bolton, Norwich all prevail - making an all EPL Last 8 quarter-final line-up.