By News Team
18th March 2021
The magic of the FA Cup is back and with a nearly all Premier League quarter-final line-up, the underdog story is left to Championship side Bournemouth
We preview the standout fixtures from this weekend’s sixth round.
Top of the table clash at the King Power
Leicester and Manchester United meet on Sunday in arguably the pick of the quarter-final ties at the King Power. Both sides arrive in this game on the back of excellent Premier League campaigns and it should be a fixture to savour.
Leicester have hosting duties as United travel down for the final quarter-final fixture of the weekend. The latter currently hold a one-point lead over Leicester in second in the Premier League as both sides are battling it out for the runners-up spot behind clear leaders Manchester City. Both teams will know that league honours are beyond their grasp at this point and will certainly be feeling the pressure to gain some domestic silverware, with the FA Cup presenting the perfect opportunity.
During last year’s FA Cup campaign the duo both fell to the eventual runners-up Chelsea, with Leicester missing out in the quarter-finals while United went one step further before realising their fate. The current odds reflect the tightness of this game and it will be a difficult one to call. The hosts can be backed at 19/10 while the visitors are an 11/8 chance after overcoming West Ham and Liverpool in the competition already. Not one to be missed.
Battle of the South Coast
The first of the quarter-finals fixtures gets under way with Championship side Bournemouth hosting Southampton on Saturday, with all hopes of an underdog success resting with Jonathan Woodgate’s side.
Bournemouth have already secured a victory against a Premier League side in the fifth round of the competition this season in Burnley, and they are more than capable of outperforming an out of sorts Southampton side to progress further. Sitting in seventh place in the Championship, the Cherries are one spot off the play-off places and the concern is they will have one eye on that opportunity and the FA Cup may come second fiddle. Bournemouth are currently the 13/5 underdogs to beat the 14th placed Premier League side.
Southampton will travel down the A31 to Dean Court in a bid to overcome the local side and progress through to the semi-finals, and to do so they are understandably the favourites at 21/20. The Saints have already taken out Wolves and Arsenal in the competition this year and with a mediocre season in the Premier League, they will be hopeful of success in the FA Cup. Southampton will be hopeful they can emulate their 1976 success and double their major trophy collection at the same time. However, they arrive in the game on the back of straight defeats against Manchester City and another south coast side, Brighton, so Bournemouth may well fancy their chances of an upset.
Tough ask for the Toffees against Man City
Both sides in this fixture are no strangers to FA Cup success with Everton recording five wins in the competition and Manchester City claiming the title six times – and both will be hoping to add to that tally this year.
Everton host the current Premier League leaders in Saturday’s evening kick-off, with the pair meeting for the second time in as many months. The last fixture was seen in the Premier League in February, and on that occasion, City unsurprisingly came out on top with a 3-1 victory. City have been relentless in the Premier League this season and sit at the top with a commanding 14-point lead. However, this is the FA Cup and it would be no great surprise to see Everton spring an upset.
Everton are 17/2 to do just that and knock the league leaders out of the competition, while City are 3/10 to progress to the semi-finals. Pep Guardiola’s men will be as focused as ever when they face Everton and having been knocked out in the semis last year by Arsenal, it would seem that Pep has his eye on this competition with the quadruple still in sight.
Everton didn’t have a great season last year, exiting the competition in the third round by rivals Liverpool while finishing the season in 12th place in the Premier League. However, this year they have been a much better side, currently sitting in seventh place in the league and gaining victory over Spurs in a thrilling nine-goal game to reach the quarters of the FA Cup. Could this be their year?