Weekend Boxset: FA Cup Quarter-finals



Seven great matches to take you from Friday to Sunday. It's the Sound of Football Weekend Boxset.

All times are GMT
 


Friday



Chinese Super League: Shanghai SIPG v Yanbian Funde


11.35 on Sky Sports 5


Why not kick off your weekend early with a little Chinese Super League action that pitches a star-studded SIPG against last season’s mid-table stalwarts, Yanbian Funde.  The home side boast former Chelsea man Oscar alongside fellow countryman, Hulk and Elkeson with  Portuguese legend Richardo Carvalho completing the star quartet. Indeed, the three Brazilians made their presence felt in the previous fixture, the first of the current campaign, with Elkeson scoring a hatrick, ably assisted by his compatriots.  Yanbian took an away point against Chongqing Lifan but surely won’t welcome the prospect of facing the Brazilian firing-squad.
 


Championship: Brighton & Hove Albion v Derby County


19.45 on Sky Sports 1


Things are certainly hotting up in England’s second tier. This weekend sees the top two sides, Newcastle and Brighton, look to put more clear blue sky between themselves and the chasing pack, headed by Huddersfield and Leeds. Chris Hughton’s side have floundered of late, but returned to form on Tuesday with a valuable win away to Rotherham, to keep the pressure on the Geordies. Steve McClaren will be looking to leave behind his Derby side’s inconsistency as they head to the south coast, if they are to stand any chance of turning over the ten point gap between themselves and the play-offs.
 


Saturday



FA Cup Quarter-Final: Middlesbrough v Manchester  City


12.15 on BT Sport 2


Having shaded a spirited Oxford United in round five, Boro will hope to give their fans something to shout about in this, the first of four mouthwatering FA Cup fixtures.  Their guests are a superstar side who barely hit top gear as they cruised past a talented, promotion chasing Huddersfield in the previous round. Boro’s evident inability to score against Premier League opponents contrasts sharply with a City side getting into their stride with four wins in their last five.  The famous trophy has thrown up it’s fair share of surprises this year, but it will take something special for Boro to overcome the odds in this one.
 


FA Cup Quarter-Final: Arsenal v Lincoln City


17.30 on BT Sport 2


As the pressure mounts on Arsene Wenger following Tuesday’s Champions League exit at the hands of a ruthless Bayern Munich, this, his first game since his Arsenal side collectively fell off the horse, gives a welcome opportunity to get back in the saddle. On the same evening, Lincoln gave a thoroughbred performance beating Braintree Town 4-0.  Both sides will be looking forward to this tie for entirely different reasons.  A place a Wembley for the victors - high stakes indeed.
 




Sunday



Scottish Premiership: Celtic v Rangers


12.00 on Sky Sports 1 & Sky Sports 5


Despite the fact that Aberdeen are now firmly established as Scotland’s second side, it remains impossible not to see the Old Firm derby as the biggest game north of the border. Celtic have dominated in the absence of any real opposition since Rangers were unceremoniously kicked out of the top flight back in 2012. The Gers face a team in blistering form, yet to lose and dropping points just once, bizarrely against bottom placed Inverness. This may not be much of a contest, but rest assured there will be a lot of goals, if only at one end.
 


FA Cup Quarter-Final: Tottenham Hotspur v Millwall


14.00 on BBC One


Neil Harris’s team talk ahead of his side’s clash with hot-shot Tottenham could be summed up in one phrase: “stop Harry Kane”.  Indeed, the England man is in unstoppable form currently and poses quite a challenge for anyone to even attempt to contain him.  Add to this Tottenham’s impressive home form and this tie could be as much a bloodbath as the midday kick-off in Glasgow.  Not so fast: League One Millwall haven’t suffered a reversal since mid-December and their route to the quarter-finals has seen them take the scalps of the Premier League champions, Leicester and a (very) plucky Bournemouth.  As you know, we don’t make predictions on the Sound of Football, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Lions’ roar will be echoing around White Hart Lane come tea-time.

The draw for the semi-finals take place on Monday, immediately after Chelsea v Manchester United.
 


Ligue 1: Lorient v PSG


20.00 on BT Sport Extra 2


Poor old Lorient. Three points adrift at the foot of Ligue 1, no win in five, shipped four goals at home to a massively inconsistent Marseille and now they face the proverbial wounded animals from the capital. That said, both physical and mental fatigue will have played a huge part in the Parisian’s preparation for this fixture. They may have a point or two to prove, but that could well play into the hands of their well rested hosts.  PSG’s excellent domestic form must end sometime, so why not here in Brittany?

Whatever you watch, have a great weekend

Jan (@janbilton)

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