Mark Young predicts the cup and league actions as the big boys of Premier League take on weaker sides in the FA Cup and a decisive midweek in the league with big clashes. With both competitions on the go, we’ve got FA Cup hero Tim Buzaglo and BT Sport presenter Rachel Stringer on duty this weekend…
Exeter City 0-3 Liverpool
This weekend kicks off with Jurgen Klopp paying a trip to Exeter in a classic FA Cup Third Round match up.
The Reds’ Friday night trip to St James’ Park is part of an action packed week for Klopp and his team as they look to get over their loss to West Ham at the weekend.
Tuesday night’s victory at Stoke in the first leg of the Capital One Cup semifinal was a good way to get started and a comfortable victory against the Grecians will help them prepare for Arsenal on Wednesday in the league.
Tim Buzaglo’s Prediction: Exeter City 0-2 Liverpool
Eastleigh 1-0 Bolton Wanderers
Bolton Wanderers are in real trouble in the Championship and could be real trouble when they go to non league side Eastleigh in the FA Cup this weekend.
A team that once battled for European football with the club a stomping ground for great footballers continuing their careers. Now they are struggling for cash, points and goals and are set to be an early scalp in this season’s FA Cup.
Tim Buzaglo’s Prediction: Eastleigh 2-1 Bolton Wanderers
Everton 4-1 Dagenham and Redbridge
The Toffees beat Manchester City in the Capital One Cup Semi Final First Leg at Goodison Park on Wednesday and will be hoping to continue that form against their lower league opposition this weekend.
John Still, back in charge of Dagenham and Redbridge after leaving Luton Town, brings his side to Merseyside with their backs against the wall.
Although changes are expected to the Everton side, Roberto Martinez and his side should fly through to the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Tim Buzaglo’s Prediction: Everton 4-0 Dagenham and Redbridge
Manchester United 3-0 Sheffield United
Manchester United have been subject to a few scalps in their time in the FA Cup and face Sheffield United at Old Trafford on Saturday evening.
It wasn’t a great end to 2015 for Louis Van Gaal and his side just as it wasn’t for the Blades who are the big scalp in League One.
Nigel Adkins and his side will have to break down an expectedly strong Red Devils outfit but are likely to come up short.
Tim Buzaglo’s Prediction: Manchester United 3-1 Sheffield United
Chelsea 5-0 Scunthorpe United
Chelsea were back in the swing of things last weekend at Crystal Palace and should have another walk in the park against Scunthorpe this weekend.
The mid-table League One side will come up against it as Guus Hiddink’s Blues look to prove that their victory at Palace was not just a one off.
With positive results few and far between for Chelsea this season so far, it would be a shock to see them not take this competition seriously and a comfortable Sunday stroll is in order.
Tim Buzaglo’s Prediction: Chelsea 3-0 Scunthorpe United
Newcastle United 0-1 Manchester United
The Premier League returns on Tuesday night as Manchester United go to St James’ Park to face Newcastle.
The Magpies have been good in fits and starts this season including a well deserved goalless draw at Old Trafford in August.
The Red Devils had their first win in eight at home to Swansea last weekend and with Wayne Rooney striking just before he faces his favourite team to score against statistically, it could be he that make the difference in a narrow win.
Rachel Stringer’s Prediction: Newcastle United 1-1 Manchester United
Manchester City 3-2 Everton
Everton travel to the Etihad Stadium for a Capital One Cup rematch against Manchester City on Wednesday night.
Romelu Lukaku netted the winner at Goodison Park last week but they key ingredient could be another 90 minutes under the belt of Sergio Aguero.
After a weekend of rested players for FA Cup Third round matches, City may just edge this one with the second leg of the Capital One Cup semi final coming up at the end of January.
Rachel Stringer’s Prediction: Manchester City 2-1 Everton
Swansea City 0-1 Sunderland
Swansea lost their first match in four at Old Trafford last weekend and face fellow strugglers Sunderland on Wednesday.
Sunderland managed to gain a huge victory against Aston Villa last week as Jermain Defoe got back amongst the goals once again.
Defoe could well be the difference this weekend as Swansea struggle for goals and Sam Allardyce may well have just found a winning formula in the North East.
Rachel Stringer’s Prediction: Swansea City 0-2 Sunderland
Liverpool 1-1 Arsenal
Liverpool’s huge week culminates in a visit from league leaders Arsenal to Anfield on Wednesday.
The Gunners started the year with a hard fought 1-0 victory against Newcastle United but looked edgy at times but still won, something the Gunners may not have done in recent seasons.
Klopp and his team should bounce back from their loss at West Ham with two cup wins and a draw as they can cancel out Arsene Wenger’s team.
Rachel Stringer’s Prediction: Liverpool 1-1 Arsenal
Tottenham Hotspur 4-1 Leicester City
For the second time in a number of days Leicester City travel to White Hart Lane to face Tottenham Hotspur.
After their head to head meeting in the FA Cup at the weekend, a potentially Jamie Vardy-less Foxes team could be ripe for the picking.
Spurs have been brilliant in the league in recent weeks and are one of a few sides that have found a level of consistency but captain Hugo Lloris and his side should be able to let their hair down with a dominant display against a downward looking Leicester.
Rachel Stringer’s Prediction: Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Leicester City
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