Coventry City vs. Chelsea
Coventry took advantage of Blackburn wanting to focus on Premier League survival in the last round, but I don’t think that Chelsea will be quite so generous today. They are all but out of the running in the race for the title and will know that there are a plethora of top sides between them and the Champions League and so Guus Hiddink will not want to relinquish hope in what is probably their best remaining chance of silverware this season. Drogba is back firing up front and i think he and Chelsea will probably put Coventry to bed comfortably.
Fulham vs. Manchester United
The thing about United at the moment is that even though they will almost certainly be resting some key players, they will still probably win this match. Arguably under-strength sides have beaten Spurs and Newcastle in their last two matches, and it is testament to not only the strength in depth, but also the pure flexibility of Ferguson’s squad that they look just as impressive even with numerous superstars warming the bench. Fulham are decent at home but will be a bit shaken by a loss to Hull in midweek, and I just can’t look past United.
Arsenal vs. Burnley (Sun) (Fifth Round)
Burnley have been prolific giant killers this season so far, reaching the semi-final of the Carling Cup and indeed they were only a whisker away from making the final, after extra-time heartbreak at the hands of Tottenham. They would dearly love to repeat the trick today against an Arsenal side that is starting, and say it quietly in case you scare them off again, to find some form at last. The injection of creativity that Arshavin has brought will complement the steady stream of players returning from injury and they, like Chelsea, will see this as a good chance for silverware. But Burnley are in good form of late, finding the net consistently and with only one loss in seven, I’m going for a replay.
Everton vs. Middlesbrough (Sun)
Middlesbrough, after a couple of wins, returned to their awful selves in midweek and were duly drubbed 4-0 by a Tottenham side who, let’s face it, aren’t too flash themselves. However, they are fortunate to encounter a very understrength Everton side on Sunday, as an immensely long injury list and a long, hard season are starting to catch up with the Toffees. David Moyes will be hoping Cahill is fit enough to start after it was confirmed Anichebe is out for the rest of the season, with Osman and Pienaar also crucial to Everton’s cause. Expect this one to be tight and scrappy, but I hope and believe that Everton will have enough in them to see of ‘Boro. COYB.
Sunderland Athletic vs. Tottenham Hotspur
Sunderland sort of fizzled out and died after a bright start against Liverpool in midweek and they didn’t seem to have any fight in them at all. Tottenham though, are just about the most confusing thing I’ve ever seen this season, at times tragic and at times quite good, you never know quite what’s going to happen. They won easily against Middlesbrough in midweek but Sbragia should have given the Black Cats a kick up the arse since then and they may have a tougher time of it today. Whoever wins will pull clear of the other in the table and take a big step towards safety, and I think perhaps Spurs fans will be sleeping more soundly in their beds tonight.