Weekend Boxset: FA Cup 5th Round

Five Premier League sides face tough matches against teams from lower divisions and with no replays from now on in the competition, all these games will be decided this weekend. Who will survive to the 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



FA Cup 5th Round: Queens Park Rangers v Watford


19.45 on BT Sport 2


Queens Park Rangers have been saving their best for the cup. I’ve said on the podcast that I’ve a feeling the Steve McLaren has a team of good players trying to break out and that a mid table premier league team that is likely to rotate its lineup could be an achievable scalp. That said, the former England boss has five injuries to contend with plus the fatigue of a Tuesday night defeat to red hot Bristol City. History is on the side Hoops however: Watford haven’t beaten QPR since Danny Graham and Jordan Mutch put them to the sword in December 2010. Although that was also on a Friday night. There is an interesting background story involving the west London club and that is their recent threat to quit the area if their plans to redevelop the nearby Linford Christie Stadium are thwarted by the local council who happen to own the site. Quite where they would go is another matter although ill conceived departures with no plan is hardly new in this country is it? TD
 



Saturday



FA Cup 5th Round: Brighton & Hove Albion v Derby County


12.30 on BT Sport 2


Brighton are in a worrying slump right now. When they beat Palace in the league at the start of December they were two points from 6th place and a full twelve points above the relegation zone. Flash forward to today and they're just three points from 18th, with only Huddersfield in worse form. It's a tough call whether or not Chris Hughton should sacrifice his side's run in the competition to concentrate on staying up but losing at home to a team one step below won't do much to ease the worries of fans. Derby have put in some entertaining cup performances this year - their League Cup elimination of pre-OGS Manchester United being the highlight. Given the circumstances, you feel another quarter final awaits for Frank Lampard's side. These sides first met each other in the FA Cup in 1946. The first running of the competition after the war, each round up to the semi finals was played over two legs. This was the only time it was run this way but it seemed to suit Derby, who after beating Brighton by an aggregate of 10-1 at this same stage, went on to win the Cup - the only time they've done so. GS
 



FA Cup 5th Round: Newport County v Manchester City


17.30 on BT Sport 2


We all love a cup upset, don’t we?  Well, if there’s going to be one in this, the fifth round proper of the FA Cup, it surely couldn’t be any bigger than League Two Newport taking down one of the finest sides in Europe.  While the football world’s head has been turned by the glamour of the Champions League of late, Newport have popped up to break the spell in rounds three and four sending both Leicester and Yorkshire minnows Middlesbrough back to England red-faced.  They also put fellow countrymen, Wrexham, to the sword a round earlier with a business-like 4-0 win. Sadly, the smart money isn’t on a continuation of this form, with the bookies offering a lengthy 25/1 (which has to be worth a punt). Well, it’s not like they know something we don’t.  City have been exceptional of late; in the Premier league, Sergio Agüero bypassed both Arsenal and Chelsea on his own within seven days, scoring six goals. While there may be some relief that he probably won’t start the game, comfort will turn to grave concern when Gabriel Jesus, who has been thoroughly enjoying England’s domestic cups this season, steps out onto Rodney Parade.  The pitch may not be to their liking, and the home side have nothing to lose, but the Football Gods will need to be smiling down on South Wales this Saturday for this to be the upset that everyone is hoping for. JB
 



Serie A: Atalanta v Milan


19.30 on Premier 2


Serie A's most potent strikers come face to face in this battle for the fourth Champions League spot. While Ronaldo may be leading the top scorer chart for the league, for goals in all competitions his 20 goals still see him behind both Krystof Piatek (23) and Duvan Zapata (21). Piatek has comfortably settled into life in Milan with four goals in four appearances - including two in the Coppa Italia to add to the six he got in the same competition for Genoa. The Italian football administrators obviously think the whole cup-tied thing is a rule best left to other federations. Colombian Duvan Zapata is in the middle of a tremendous run of form. Before Atalanta's 0-0 in Cagliari at the start of the month, he'd scored in the previous ten matches in a row - 17 goals in all. He was back on the score-sheet the very next game, getting the winner in a 2-1 home win against SPAL. He won't have to face his cousin, Cristian Zapata, who is side-lined for the Rossoneri with a hamstring injury. GS
 





Sunday



FA Cup 5th Round: Bristol City v Wolverhampton Wanderers


13.00 on BT Sport 2


This match has the makings of being the tie of the round. Wolves have already provided some of the most entertaining Cup ties this season: their victory over Liverpool in the 3rd round followed by two games against Shrewsbury that saw them come back from two goals down in the first game, then give up a lead and retake it in the replay. There's no reason at all for Nuno Espirito Santo not to go all out in this competition as they've already proved in the Premier League they can give anyone a game. Though it's going to be far from an easy ride in this one as they face a side who are currently the best in the Championship. Yep, that is correct, Lee Johnson's side are on a run of nine straight wins and while a run to the automatic spots looks a stretch, the play-offs look a comfortable ask. If the Robins do make it through it will be their first Cup quarter final since 1974 and only their third since their only appearance in the final back in 1909. That shortfall of FA Cup history goes much of the way to explain how these sides have never before met in the competition. GS
 



FA Cup 5th Round: Doncaster Rovers v Crystal Palace


16.00 on BBC One


Donnie’s preparation for their first fifth round appearance on 63 years couldn’t have been better: a 3-0 win at home to Southend on Tuesday. Top scorer John Marquis was on the mark and Palace boss Roy Hodgson will be briefing his defenders extensively on the 28 year old forward who has scored 18 goals this season. Between him and his 20 year old strike partner, Mallik Wilks, Rovers have scored their way o 6th place in what is a pretty competitive League 1, this season. Given Palace’s own League concerns it is easy to see why the TV people thought that this was a good prospect for an upset. Despite their prolific marksmen the potential history man for the underdogs is Donnie legend, James Coppinger. 38 years old with 535 club appearances, the attacking midfielder has lived a life and is well capable of unlocking that Palace defence or better still, banging one in from a free kick to send the Keepmoat into rapture. TD
 



La Liga: Real Betis v Alaves


19.45 on Eleven Sports 1


Donnie’s preparation for their first fifth round appearance on 63 years couldn’t have been better: a 3-0 win at home to Southend on Tuesday. Top scorer John Marquis was on the mark and Palace boss Roy Hodgson will be briefing his defenders extensively on the 28 year old forward who has scored 18 goals this season. Between him and his 20 year old strike partner, Mallik Wilks, Rovers have scored their way o 6th place in what is a pretty competitive League 1, this season. Given Palace’s own League concerns it is easy to see why the TV people thought that this was a good prospect for an upset. Despite their prolific marksmen the potential history man for the underdogs is Donnie legend, James Coppinger. 38 years old with 535 club appearances, the attacking midfielder has lived a life and is well capable of unlocking that Palace defence or better still, banging one in from a free kick to send the Keepmoat into rapture. TD
 



Whatever you watch, have a great weekend.



Terry (@terryduffelen), Graham (@grahamsibley) and Jan (@janbilton)



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