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Football

City, United eye FA Cup semis

Watford vs Crystal Palace
Vicarage Road, London
Saturday, 16-03-2019 @3:15pm
Referee: Kevin Friend

Watford have no injury concerns, with defender Miguel Britos overcoming the leg problem he sustained last weekend. Head coach Javi Gracia must decide whether to include Heurelho Gomes, who has kept a clean sheet in each of his three FA Cup appearances this season.

Crystal Palace keeper Wayne Hennessey has recovered from the minor injury that ruled him out against Brighton. Pape Souare is available after a dislocated shoulder but Bakary Sako is expected to miss out with a calf issue.

They have played each other seven times in the FA Cup, most recently a semi-final in 2016 which Crystal Palace won 2-1. Watford have never lost at home to the Eagles in the FA Cup, winning three times and drawing once. Palace have lost both league meetings this season – it’s 83 years since they last suffered three defeats in a row in all competitions against the Hornets.

Swansea vs Man City
Liberty Stadium, Swansea-Wales
Saturday, 16-03-2019 @8:20pm
Referee: Andre Marriner

Swansea’s top scorer Oli McBurnie has been struggling with illness so is unlikely to start but could still be used from the bench. Cameron Carter-Vickers should have shaken off a knock but Kyle Naughton is a doubt with a groin/hamstring issue.

Manchester City will be without defender John Stones, who has not yet fully recovered from a groin strain. Kevin de Bruyne and Vincent Kompany, who missed Tuesday’s Champions League win, are also still sidelined.

Manchester City have won 10 of the past 11 meetings in all competitions. They won the two league encounters last season by an aggregate score of 9-0. This is the first ever FA Cup meeting between Swansea and Manchester City.

Manchester City have lost just once since Boxing Day, and won the EFL Cup last month. They have won three of their last four FA Cup quarter-finals – but lost to Championship side Wigan in 2013-14. City have scored at least four goals in each of their three FA Cup games this season. They were also the last team to do so four times in a row – back in 1926. Pep Guardiola’s side have restricted their last three Premier League opponents to a combined total of four shots. Phil Foden is Manchester City’s leading scorer in this season’s FA Cup with three goals. Gabriel Jesus has been involved in 10 goals in six domestic cup starts this season (seven goals, three assists).

Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Man United
Molineux Stadium, West Midlands
Saturday, 16-03-2019 @10:45pm
Referee: Martin Atkinson

Wolves centre-back Ryan Bennett is available, despite currently serving a two-match Premier League ban, and could replace Romain Saiss. Head coach Nuno Espirito Santo has no fresh injury concerns.

Manchester United’s in-form forward Romelu Lukaku is a doubt because of a sore foot. Ashley Young is suspended but Phil Jones is fit after illness, while Jesse Lingard and Ander Herrera have returned to training and could be involved.

This is the 100th meeting between the sides in all competitions. United won the first game 10-1 in a home league game in October 1892. United have won four of the eight previous FA Cup meetings, with Wolves winning twice. This is the fourth quarter-final match between the sides. United won 5-3 at Molineux in 1965 and 3-2 away in 1976, after the original tie at Old Trafford had ended 1-1.

Manchester United have won the FA Cup 12 times, just one fewer than record holders Arsenal. United are appearing in their fifth successive FA Cup quarter-final. However, they are looking to reach consecutive semi-finals for the first time since 2003-04 and 2004-05. They have won 17 and lost just two of their last 20 FA Cup games dating back to January 2015. United’s seven FA Cup goals this season have all been scored by different players: Juan Mata, Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez, Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial, Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba. Defeat at Arsenal last weekend ended their run of nine successive away wins in all competitions – they also failed to score for the first time in 22 away games this season. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has won all four FA Cup away ties as a manager: two with Cardiff in 2013-14 and two this season with United.

Millwall vs Brighton and Hove Albion

The Den, London

Sunday, 17-03-2019 @5pm

Referee: Chris Kavanagh

Millwall will monitor forward Lee Gregory, who was withdrawn in the second half of Wednesday’s win at Birmingham because of a tight calf. Ben Thompson, who scored both goals in that game, is cup-tied, while Ben Marshall is also ineligible. Defender Murray Wallace is suspended, though he would have missed this match regardless because of a knee injury.

Brighton midfielder Yves Bissouma is banned after being booked in each of the last two rounds of the FA Cup. Florin Andone and Pascal Gross are ruled out by injuries, but defender Leon Balogun is available after missing the last five games with a shoulder problem.

Millwall won 3-1 in the only previous FA Cup tie between these sides, a first-round replay on 19 November 1956. The sides had drawn 1-1 at Brighton’s Goldstone Ground two days earlier. The last eight games, all in the Championship, have produced five draws, two Brighton wins and one Millwall victory. The Seagulls are unbeaten in their last six games at the Den (D3, L3) since a 3-0 loss on Boxing Day 2007.

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