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FA Cup quarterfinals: Big boys all away and favored

FA Cup quarterfinal preview

SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 21: Nicolas Pepe of Arsenal takes on John Fleck of Sheffield United during the Premier League match between Sheffield United and Arsenal FC at Bramall Lane on October 21, 2019 in Sheffield, United Kingdom. (Photo by Visionhaus)

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The FA Cup will produce its final four participants this weekend, with all of the favorites away from home.

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All of the visitors are favored according to DraftKings, with the slimmest margin being Chelsea (+148) at Leicester City (+180) but the congested league schedule and uncertain legs make anything possible this weekend in England.

Norwich City v. Manchester United

12:30 p.m. ET Saturday

The visitors are three wins away from rejoining Arsenal atop the FA Cup’s list of all-time winners. The Red Devils are -245, second-biggest favorites to their Mancunian rivals, and swept Norwich 3-1 and 4-0 this season. The former win came at Carrow Road.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was able to rest Fred and Scott McTominay in a blowout defeat of Sheffield United at midweek, so expect a real challenge for Norwich’s weary Canaries.

The last-place hosts are the latest team to boast the possibility of going to the second-tier for league play and the Europa League to boot. That ends here in a close one: 2-1 Man Utd.

Sheffield United v. Arsenal

8 a.m. ET Sunday

Chris Wilder’s Blades struggled against Newcastle and Manchester United, but will find a more uneven foe in Mikel Arteta’s visiting Gunners.

Arsenal is +140 to win the next step in pursuit of a record 14th FA Cup, but Bramall Lane is a decent hike from North London and the Gunners and already saw an Arsenal loss to Blades this year.

Sheffield United then drew Arteta’s men at the Emirates to take four-of-six points from Arsenal this PL season. This one might be grimy, but we like Arsenal by a 2-1 score.

Leicester City v. Chelsea

11 a.m. ET Sunday

You just know Brendan Rodgers would love to get a trophy after his former clubs, Liverpool and Celtic, have both collected league honors this Spring.

Leicester has not been anywhere near the incredible form it showed during the first half of the year and it’s Champions League credentials have somewhat predictable taken a big hit. The Foxes can thank Kasper Schmeichel for their latest point, but look destined to lose hold of third in the PL soon enough.

Chelsea’s coming off a Christian Pulisic-inspired big win over Man City but also has two more days rest than Frank Lampard’s Blues.

Perhaps that explains the near toss-up odds despite the better-rested Foxes in the cozy confines of the King Power Stadium. Chelsea’s inconsistency might rear its head again and we’ll call Schmeichel the difference as Leicester wins in penalty kicks.

FA Cup quarterfinal preview

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 01: Hamza Choudhury of Leicester City and N’Golo Kanté of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Chelsea FC at The King Power Stadium on February 01, 2020 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Visionhaus)


Newcastle United v. Manchester City

1:30 p.m. ET Sunday

This checks only a couple of promising boxes for Newcastle: The one that has them at St. James’ Park for the third-straight match of the restart and the one that claims one day’s more rest.

All that and DraftKings still has them as the underdog of the week at +1300.

Both Matt Ritchie and Isaac Hayden were injured Wednesday versus Villa, and Man City is without Sergio Aguero.

City was stung deeply by Chelsea and Pep Guardiola is an ornery man looking for his third bit of silverware this year and a guard of honor due Liverpool at the Etihad next week.

Throw in Newcastle’s 2-2 draw against Man City at St. James’ Park earlier this season, probably the result that signaled the massive task of chasing Liverpool, and Guardiola has every reason to have his men ready to roar. Man City 4-1.

FA Cup quarterfinals schedule, how to watch

  • Stream Live: ESPN+
  • When: Saturday and Sunday

FA Cup semifinal draw

  • When: Halftime of Newcastle-Man City on Sunday
  • Time: Approximately 2:20 p.m. ET