There will be a break in play in the Premier League in midweek, as the FA Cup returns for the fifth round. There will be some huge fixtures taking place, as teams look to reach the quarterfinal of this season’s competition.
Manchester United vs West Ham United
Manchester United will be back in action at Old Trafford on Tuesday night, as they look to forget about the disappointing 3-3 draw that they picked up against Everton at the weekend. They will face a stern challenge to reach the next round of the competition, as in-form West Ham United are the visitors to the Theatre of Dreams.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was visibly disappointed after the full-time whistle on Saturday, as he watched his side squander a 2-0 lead early in the second half, before United later conceded a last minute equaliser after going ahead 3-2 in the closing stages. A title challenge would have been something that all fans would never have thought to be possible this term, but closing the gap on the sides at the top of the table would have been the target. A trophy is all that is missing from United’s progression, and therefore the FA Cup holds huge significance for the Red Devils this term.
West Ham have been exceptional over recent weeks, and may also be targeting a place in Europe themselves. The Hammers have lost just once in nine outings in all competitions. They were held 0-0 by Fulham at the weekend, and will be missing Jesse Lingard against United on Tuesday night.
United will need to win a trophy this season, and we expect them to make it through this difficult tie.
Leicester City vs Brighton
Leicester City’s form in the Premier League has dipped over recent weeks, as they have won just once in their last four. They still look to be in a strong position in the race to finish in a European place, which will be their main aim for the season. Brendan Rodgers will make a number of changes for this fixture, which means that Jamie Vardy and James Maddison could drop to the bench.
Brighton’s recent form has seen them move away from the relegation places, which means that Graham Potter may field a stronger team for this FA Cup clash. They have never won this competition, as the closest that they have come was runners-up in 1983. That could be a record that they may look to end this year, as they have proven to be dangerous opponents for the top teams this season.
Brighton have certainly hit form at an important stage of the season, and the problems they have given Liverpool and Spurs over recent weeks could mean a minor shock in the FA Cup this week.
Everton vs Tottenham Hotspur
Jose Mourinho was appointed as manager at Tottenham to win trophies, and the FA Cup could highlight a chance for Spurs to win their first trophy in over ten years. They will come up against an Everton side full of confidence this week at Goodison Park.
The Toffees will look to build on the 3-3 draw that they achieved against Manchester United at the weekend, as Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored a 95th minute equaliser at Old Trafford. Carlo Ancelotti will likely field a near-full strength line-up for this fixture.
Spurs have been inconsistent to say the least over recent weeks, but were boosted by the return of Harry Kane in their most recent fixture. The England captain scored on his first start since returning from injury, but Mourinho may rest his talisman for this cup tie, as his fitness levels could be low after being rushed back into the starting eleven.
Everton are a serious team under Ancelotti, and have already beaten Spurs once this season. The fact that Kane may not be fit enough to start two games in four days may be crucial.