The Daily Star’s Chief Football writer, Danny Fullbrook, gives his verdict on the five TV FA Cup fixtures this weekend, starting at Watford v Spurs.
It is a big weekend in the FA Cup with a lot of dreams which can come and go.
Watford v Tottenham, Fri 27th Jan, 19.45, ESPN
It kicks off with Watford v Spurs on TV on Friday night with all of the flash bulbs trained on Harry Redknapp, who is in mid court case.
But when it comes down to the football I don’t think there will be an upset at Vicarage Road. There is no real need to rest players so it should be a strong side out and they will be too good for their weaker opponents – Spurs are 1/2 to win with BetVictor. I fancy a 2-0 away, 7/1 with Ladbrokes, win with Defoe scoring in the game – Betfred make him 5/4 to score anytime.
Liverpool v Man United, Sat 28th Jan, 12.45, ITV1
The massive game of the weekend is of course Liverpool v Man Utd. King Kenny’s team just don’t do it in the league at the moment but when it comes to the cups, it is all different.
Man City have been beaten midweek in the Carling Cup and although Manchester United are a huge side, and it will be a bitter game, I just think Liverpool will do it again and you can get 17/10 the home win with Stan James. It will be tight but Kuyt to score the winner in a 2-1 victory for me. Totesport flag up 10/1 on the 2-1 win while Kuyt is 9/1 (Ladbrokes) to score last.
Brighton v Newcastle, Sat 28th Jan, 17.15, ESPN
Brighton v Newcastle is a different cup of tea though and a packed house at the Amex Stadium could be a daunting prospect for Newcastle, especially after their thrashing by Fulham last week.
Sunderland v Middlesbrough, Sun 29th Jan, 13.30, ITV1
On Sunday, Sunderland v Middlesbrough could be a cracking North East derby in the FA Cup.
Both teams are going well at the moment. But on that basis I fancy a home win, 8/11 at Ladbrokes, because Martin O’Neill is great in the cup competitions. His team are flying so home win on the cards, possibly by two clear goals or more – lovely at 2/1 with Coral.
Arsenal v Aston Villa, Sun 29th Jan, 16.00, ESPN
Then comes Aston Villa away against Arsenal. I just don’t see that the Gunners will lose this one.
The cups are so important to them at the moment. They need to make them count so I think they will win at all costs at 2-0 (7/1, William Hill) with van Persie on the scoresheet – the Dutchman is 11/4 with Stan James to open the scoring and 10/11 to net anytime.
After losing 3 games in a row in the League, defeat would be too much in this game.