FA Cup Quarter Final Weekend

Chelsea F.C.
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This weekend (6-7 March) is FA Cup Quarter Final weekend and the ties include a London Derby, a club desperate for the money and a sole representative from outside the Premier League in giant killers Reading. Every game has a bit of interest to it with plenty for the neutrals to enjoy.

The biggest game is arguably the all London clash between Fulham and Spurs which should be a close game as Fulham are no push overs at Craven Cottage. However Tottenham have finally matured into a genuine champions league challenger and they will expect to avoid defeat at the very least and should win a replay at White Hart Lane.

In the other London game FA Cup holders Chelsea take on Stoke who have overcome the odds this season beating Arsenal, Manchester City and non league York City on their way to this clash. All three games finished 3-1 (whats the odds of that) but they will find things tough away at Chelsea and it will be a major surprise if they manage to reach the Semi Finals.

Ordinarily Portsmouth V Birmingham would not be a tie to capture the imagination of the neutral, but given Portsmouth’s fall into administration many neurtral fans will be hoping they can progress to the Semi Finals and give their beleaguered supporters something to shout about. It will be difficult against a well organised Birmingham side and this might be another game heading for a replay.

The final tie pits the only surviving non Premier League team Reading who have already beaten Liverpool and Burnley in the earlier rounds against Aston Villa who were a tad unlucky in the League Cup Finals and will be well up for this as its their only realistic chance of Silver Ware this season.

Reading have played well in the cup despite their somewhat erratic league form but have needed replays against Liverpool and West Brom and one gets the feeling that their luck will run out soon. I think on this occasion Villa will prove too strong although it might take a replay again.

In the end I expect the last 4 to be Chelsea, Tottenham, Villa and Birmingham.

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