2017-18 FA Cup: Fifth round – Saturday

With Chelsea and Leicester already through, there are four tasty matches to tuck into on Saturday.

First up is Carlos Carvalhal’s return to Hillsborough as he takes his Swansea City side to Sheffield Wednesday.

League Two’s Coventry City then aims to claim another Premier League scalp when they visit Brighton & Hove Albion.

Last up are two all top flight clashes as West Bromwich Albion host Southampton and Manchester United visit Huddersfield Town.


Sheffield Wednesday vs Swansea City

Carlos Carvahal Swansea
Will this be a successful return to Hillsborough for Carlos Carvalhal with his new club, Swansea City?

Swansea come here in decent form and keen to prevent a cupset against a struggling Sheffield Wednesday side.

There has only been one meeting in the FA Cup between these sides here, back in 1961-62 season when Swansea were known as ‘Swansea Town’.

Wednesday won that meeting 1-0 and it remains the only FA Cup clash in this fixture.

The Owls are unbeaten in four of last five home games in all competitions against Swansea, but lost the last meeting 2-0.

Since Carvalhal left Hillsborough for the Liberty Stadium nearly two months ago, the Swans have lost once in eleven games (W6 D4 L1).

Wednesday meanwhile have a (W4 D5 L3) record, having played one game more.

Prediction wise, my head is saying an away win but my heart says a draw. I am therefore going to go for latter.

Prediction: Sheffield Wednesday 1-1 Swansea City

Result: Sheffield Wednesday 0-0 Swansea City


Brighton & Hove Albion vs Coventry City

This is the first meeting at this stage between Brighton & Hove Albion and Coventry in four original ties of FA Cup.

Brighton have been the home side in past three meetings with a (W1 D1 L1) record.

The only tie to go to a replay was their very first cup clash in second round of 1910-11 competition, with Coventry winning it 2-0 in end.

Prediction wise, some might fancy a cupset with the Seagulls currently in a Premier league relegation fight.

I however can see a home win here.

Prediction: Brighton & Hove Albion 2-0 Coventry City

Result: Brighton & Hove Albion 3-1 Coventry City


WBA vs Southampton

These sides met here in the Premier League a few weeks ago and played out a relegation six pointer thriller.

This time, there is a place in FA Cup last eight at stake here, rather than three points.

There has been three FA Cup meetings at The Hawthorns between these sides and all finished 1-1.

West Brom won the first replay (1967-68) before losing the latter two in 1975-76 & 78-79 seasons.

Interestingly the first of those three home meetings, came 50 years to the exact day that they meet again, and the Baggies went on to win the cup that season. Surely they can’t repeat it could they?

Recent meetings in the league have been tight with four of the last six ties being won by a single goal margin.

Despite their league clash ending 3-2 to Southampton, I can see another cup draw here.

Prediction: WBA 1-1 Southampton

Result: WBA 1-2 Southampton


Huddersfield Town vs Manchester United

Can Jose Mourinho mastermind revenge over Huddersfield after October’s 2-1 defeat here in the Premier League?

Huddersfield might be struggling in the Premier League but enter this buoyant for two reasons.

Firstly, they clinched their first home win of 2018 last time out when beat Bournemouth 4-1 on Sunday.

Second reason is that they beat Manchester United here in October in the league.

These teams have met in FA Cup before but all three meetings came at Old Trafford, where the Red Devils won two and lost one. 

If being picky, you might say that there is a pattern of Man Utd, Huddersfield, Man Utd from those meetings in this competition. 

Could that provide the Terriers with a positive omen ahead of the game?

Jose Mourinho’s side have a midweek trip to Sevilla, so expect United to be slightly weakened as he rotates his squad.

Huddersfield however need to prioritise the league ahead of a deep cup run, whilst Man U will view this and the Champions League as their best trophy hopes now. 

A part of me expects a surprise replay but I think United will edge it. 

Prediction: Huddersfield Town 1-2 Manchester United

Result: Huddersfield Town 0-2 Manchester United


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