Some interesting ties came out of the hat for the 6th round.
Liverpool’s reward having seen off Brighton is another home tie against Stoke. Stoke will more than likely be out of the Europa League by then and Liverpool should be right in the Champions League mix as they attempt to earn a fourth place finish. The FA Cup may provide Stoke with their only route into Europe next season. The Potters may be slight favourites despite Liverpool’s home advantage especially if Kenny Dalglish risks a weakened team. This is likely to be a tightly contested game decided by the odd goal.
It is no certainty that Chelsea will overcome a Birmingham side on a run of 14 matches without defeat. The winner of the replay will fancy their chances with home advantage against Leicester City. I have been impressed with Chris Hughton’s side this season and although a trip to Wembley will add another match to their marathon season. You can’t help but feel they deserve it.
I’m going to assume Tottenham will see off Stevenage in their replay. That will see them earn a home tie against Bolton. With Tottenham chasing Champions League football and Bolton in the midst of a relegation scrape it is hard to see which manager will want this match. Harry Redknapp does have an affinity with the FA Cup and that alone will see Tottenham into the semi finals.
The final tie sees Everton take on Sunderland. Both clubs are in Premier League safety and can focus on a cup run. Sunderland won’t fear Everton after beating Arsenal and Everton will have their work cut out. This match may take two games to find a winner and it’s unclear at the moment who has the guts to see it through. David Moyes vs Martin O’Neill on the sidelines will be an interesting sideshow.
If pushed I’d say the semi-finalists will be Stoke, Birmingham, Tottenham and Everton but it could just as easily be the other teams that make it.
What are your thoughts on the 6th round ties? Comment below.
Written by Wesley Hillier @armchairstato.blogspot.com.
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