The FA Cup quarter-finals take place this weekend, with the eight remaining teams eyeing a place at Wembley.
Here, Press Association Sport looks at five talking points ahead of the four ties.
With the Carabao Cup already in the trophy cabinet, easy Champions League progression this week and sitting on top of the Premier League, Manchester City will now turn their attention to the next stage of their quadruple mission. They will certainly be favourites to make it to the semi-final as they visit Swansea, but Pep Guardiola, whose best FA Cup achievement at City is the last four, will be wary after his side were embarrassed at Wigan last season. Guardiola is unlikely to waver too much from his strongest team as he will not be ready to take any chances in south Wales.
2⃣ days to go!March 14, 2019
Swansea and Millwall are flying the flag for the EFL in this year’s competition as the two Championship sides eye a semi-final berth. Swansea, then a Premier League side, got to this stage last season before losing to Tottenham and their task is not any easier this year as they host Manchester City, so not too many people will be backing them to reach a first semi-final since 1964. Millwall, in a relegation battle, were in the last four as recently as 2013 and they have saved their best form for the FA Cup this year, memorably beating Everton in the earlier rounds. Their home clash with Brighton looks entirely winnable, so the 2004 finalists will fancy their chances of heading back to Wembley.
Brighton have their eye on just their second ever FA Cup semi-final and first since 1983 when they went on to reach the final. It is their second quarter-final in two years, having also reached the last eight last season, and their task on paper at least looks easier than last year’s. In 2018 they were beaten by Manchester United whereas this year a trip to Championship Millwall beckons. Seagulls boss Chris Hughton has a special affiliation with the FA Cup, having been in the Tottenham side that won it back-to-back in 1981 and 1982 and he would love to lead his current club out at Wembley.
If Manchester United get to the last four of the FA Cup then they will have had to do it the hard way. After seeing off Reading in the third round they were handed consecutive away ties at Arsenal and Chelsea, which they passed with flying colours. That set up a visit to Wolves, who have enjoyed playing the big teams in the Premier League this season. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who won this competition twice with United as a player, will be eyeing this as a very good chance to mark his caretaker spell with a trip to the national stadium. Wolves, though, will be a tough test as they are eyeing a first semi-final since 1998.
🗓 #EmiratesFACup semi-final 2016
👀 The two sides face each other again this weekend, but what will the outcome be this time? pic.twitter.com/pxsyeeE1yt— The Emirates FA Cup (@EmiratesFACup) March 14, 2019
Watford’s clash with Crystal Palace is a repeat of the semi-final three years ago, which Palace won before going on to lose the final against Manchester United. Palace triumphed 2-1 on that day at Wembley, but the Hornets’ superior league form – they won both games this season – and home advantage might make them favourites in just their fourth quarter-final in 31 years.
- Press Association