FA Cup focus: Predicting the quarter-finals

This season’s FA Cup has been thrilling so far — and the best could still be to come.

Liverpool and Manchester United are set to go head to head at Old Trafford in what promises to be an incredible spectacle.  

Manchester City, the reigning champions, host fellow Premier League side Newcastle, while Championship leaders Leicester travel to Chelsea.

Elsewhere, championship Coventry are aiming to reach a first FA Cup semi-final since they won the competition in 1987. Mark Robins’ side face a Wolves team enjoying an excellent season.

Ahead of these tantalising quarter-final fixtures, we’ve enlisted the help of Twenty3’s Toolbox to predict each game.

Liverpool vs Manchester United

Despite the unpredictable nature of derbies, anything other than a Liverpool win here seems unlikely. 

The Reds have been unstoppable in the competition so far, scoring 3.33 goals per game — a rate only bettered by three other teams.

Jürgen Klopp’s side, despite often resting some key players, have been typically intense out of possession, making 40 ball recoveries in the opponent’s half per game.

United will likely attempt to play on the counter-attack and restrict the hosts, as they did in the 0-0 draw at Anfield in December — but it will be a huge task to stop Klopp’s winning machine.

Manchester City vs Newcastle

Manchester City are on the hunt for another treble and it would be a shock if Newcastle were to stand in their way. 

The Magpies struggled away to Championship side Blackburn in the previous round, needing penalties to progress at Ewood Park.

Goalkeeper Martin Dúbravka was the hero in that game, making an incredible eight saves, including the decisive spot kick to win Newcastle the game.

Eddie Howe’s men will need to produce similar heroics at the Etihad. City, incredibly, are averaging four goals per game in the FA Cup. 

Erling Haaland is the obvious threat with five FA Cup goals to his name this season, all of which came in the 6-2 drubbing of Luton in the previous round. 

Kevin De Bruyne has also provided five assists in the competition, two more than any other player. 

Newcastle, despite the quality at their disposal, will need a monumental effort to go through.

Chelsea vs Leicester

Chelsea will be keen to avenge their ignominious Carabao Cup final defeat by winning the FA Cup. But they could be in for an awkward tie against Championship leaders Leicester. 

Mauricio Pochettino’s side did eventually squeeze past Championship outfit Leeds 3-2 in the last round but only accumulated 0.88 xG, suggesting that they struggled to create clear chances.

Leicester, meanwhile, pulled off an impressive 1-0 win away at Premier League side Bournemouth.

They have been defensively sound in the competition, making 125.33 successful defensive actions compared to Chelsea’s 83.25. 

The Blues should have enough attacking talent to get the better of Leicester — but an upset is definitely not out of the question.

Wolves vs Coventry

Wolves will be eyeing up a semi-final place having been handed what appears to be the kindest possible draw. 

They will be wary of underestimating their Championship opposition, though, and Coventry will be ready for a battle at Molineux. 

Mark Robins’ promotion-hopefuls have scored an impressive four goals per 90 minutes in the FA Cup, though a 5-0 win over sixth-tier Maidstone in the previous round inflates things slightly.

Coventry are yet to play a Premier League side and could be in for a reality check given how well Gary O’Neil’s side have performed this term. 

Pedro Neto has only scored once in the competition but is Wolves’ biggest threat, making 7.38 progressive runs per 90 — the fourth-most in the FA Cup. 

An unlikely appearance at Wembley is up for grabs for both sides in this encounter — but Wolves are the big favourites to claim it.

All graphics in this article were produced with the Twenty3 Toolbox. For more information, please get in touch below.