Sheffield United can reach the FA Cup semi-finals, while Manchester City and Sunderland could be set for a Wembley rematch
It’s quarter final weekend in the FA Cup and three of the ties will be played in front of the BT Sport and ITV cameras on Sunday afternoon, with League One Sheffield United looking to claim another Championship scalp.
Meanwhile, Steve Bruce comes up against former club Sunderland although his Hull team are warm favourites to book their semi-final place at the KC Stadium, while Uwe Rosler will hope to spring an upset with holders Wigan when he returns to a heroes welcome at the Etihad Stadium.
Sheffield United v Charlton Athletic, midday BT Sport
Nigel Clough is finally working his magic with the Blades and they have every chance of recording an eighth straight victory in front of a packed Bramall Lane, having beaten Premier League and Championship opponents en route to the quarter finals.
A 3-1 win against Nottingham Forest in the last round saw them come from a goal down to claim a quarter final spot, having previously won at Aston Villa and Fulham, while this excellent run they are currently enjoying has seen them keep five straight clean sheets.
Charlton are struggling at the wrong end of the Championship although they did win at Hillsborough in the last round to deny the prospect of an all-Sheffield derby, while they also beat QPR at home by a single goal.
However, Sheffield United won’t be denied and Paddy Power offer 13/10 about a home win which looks top value considering their confidence levels and defensive stinginess.
TIP: Sheffield United to win @ 13/10 with Paddy Power
Hull City v Sunderland, 2pm ITV
Steve Bruce has never won any silverware as a manager, having seen former club Wigan win the FA Cup last season, while Alex McLeish steered Birmingham City to a League Cup victory following the departure of the former.
However, Hull have made their way to the last eight of this competition with the minimum of fuss and the Tigers are warm favourites to beat Sunderland for the third time this season and book a trip to Wembley as a result.
The one negative with backing City is the fact that Shane Long and Nikica Jelavic are cup-tied for the FA Cup thanks to their previous involvement with their former employers, something which could swing the balance in Sunderland’s favour.
While the Black Cats might be preoccupied with staying in the Premier League, let’s not forget that they gave a good account of themselves when losing the Capital One Cup final against Manchester City last weekend.
Furthermore, Gus Poyet won’t want to fritter away the team’s progress in the FA Cup by fielding a weakened team and will have been encouraged by the way that an off-colour Newcastle side were able to win 4-1 at the KC Stadium last weekend.
Therefore, it’s worth siding with Sunderland on the Draw No Bet market, with BetVictor offering 31/20 about the visitors and they can at least achieve a draw which would see the teams replay at the Stadium of Light.
Tip: Sunderland on DNB market @ 31/20 with BetVictor
Manchester City v Wigan Athletic, 4.05pm BT Sport
Manuel Pellegrini is hoping for a hassle-free victory on Sunday before Wednesday’s clash in the Nou Camp, although Wigan Athletic will arrive in bouyant mood and their manager will receive the acclaim of the home fans considering he was a cult hero at Maine Road twenty years ago.
Uwe Rosler is now in charge of a Wigan team who beat City in the FA Cup final last season under Roberto Martinez and they are sure to have a crack at the Premier League outfit this weekend, having enjoyed some excellent wins recently including a 4-1 triumph at Nottingham Forest.
Wigan are a 20/1 chance to claim victory and it should be remembered that Watford served it up to City two rounds ago when going 2-0 up only to lose 4-2, with the Latics more than capable of playing their part in this cup clash.
It will be interesting to see whether Sergio Aguero plays any part in this match, while several returning international players might be given a rest before the Barcelona showdown, although City might have too much firepower for their opponents.
We’re going for both teams to score in this game, with Coral offering 13/8 about this happening and Wigan won’t be shutting up shop even if it means bombing out of the competition.
Tip: Both Teams to Score @ 13/8 with Coral