FA Cup 5th round preview & predictions

Toby Cudworth
Feb 8, 2021, 2:00 PM GMT
It will be a hands off approach when Everton entertain Tottenham
It will be a hands off approach when Everton entertain Tottenham / ADAM DAVY/Getty Images
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This constant stream of football is all getting a bit much, isn't it?

Okay, so it's not the worst thing in the world, but the last thing that any of us needs - and probably the 16 teams still involved - is an FA Cup fifth round plonked in the middle of the most congested run of league fixtures known to man.

Still, despite all of that, it's pretty nice to be involved in the latter stages of the FA Cup, and represents a huge opportunity for some to reach the quarter finals and start dreaming of Wembley.

Ahead all of the fun, here's your dose of preview and predictions to enjoy.

Tuesday

Burnley vs Bournemouth

Turf Moor the stage once more
Turf Moor the stage once more / Alex Pantling/Getty Images

What time is kick off? 17:30 (GMT)
Where is it being played? Turf Moor
TV channel? BT Sport 1 (UK)

First up on the fifth round calendar is a game between reliably stodgy Burnley and free-flowing goal conceders Bournemouth.

The hosts are getting better as the season wears on, while the Cherries have recently dispensed with the services of manager Jason Tindall after a severe dip in their Championship promotion-hunting form.

Sean Dyche takes these things seriously, so expect a home win against a team now managed by *check notes* Jonathan Woodgate.

Prediction: Burnley 2-0 Bournemouth

Manchester United vs West Ham

Man Utd have beaten Watford & Liverpool so far in home ties
Man Utd have beaten Watford & Liverpool so far in home ties / Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

What time is kick off? 19:30 (GMT)
Where is it being played? Old Trafford
TV channel? BBC One (UK)

Manchester United's dramatic weekend collapse against Everton showed that not only is plenty of improvement still required at Old Trafford, there is every chance of in-form West Ham turning up and causing an 'upset'.

The Hammers have only lost to Liverpool this calendar year, and for the most part have been extremely impressive under David Moyes. United have been iffy at home, while West Ham have been decent on the road.

Because of all that, this one could be cagey - and after Tomas Soucek's red card was overturned, we fancy optimum drama and a penalty shootout.

Prediction: Manchester United 1-1 West Ham (4-3 pens)

Wednesday

Swansea vs Manchester City

Manchester City come into the game full of beans
Manchester City come into the game full of beans / Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

What time is kick off? 17:30 (GMT)
Where is it being played? Liberty Stadium
TV channel? BT Sport 1 (UK)

Slowly but surely, Swansea have muscled themselves into Championship automatic promotion contention and are one of the form sides in the country.

Unfortunately, Manchester City are not only enjoying a good run of their own, they look to almost be back to their best - and most worrying of all, the thing that always looked a little broken under Pep Guardiola - their defence - is now solid as a rock.

That stubbornness to concede goals and just be better in every facet of the game should see City through.

Prediction: Swansea 0-2 Manchester City

Leicester vs Brighton

King Power welcomes improving Brighton
King Power welcomes improving Brighton / Alex Pantling/Getty Images

What time is kick off? 19:30 (GMT)
Where is it being played? King Power Stadium
TV channel? BT Sport 2 (UK)

Another all Premier League clash pits overachieving Leicester against a Brighton side starting to find their groove under Graham Potter.

The Seagulls would like more victories under their belt, sure, but their easy on the eye style of football has yielded some excellent recent results - most notably their win over Liverpool at Anfield. Can they rock up the apple cart and turn up to Leicester and win?

Quite possibly, but Brendan Rodgers will want this having won 14,371 trophies at Celtic.

Prediction: Leicester 3-1 Brighton

Sheffield United vs Bristol City

Chris Wilder has seen a vast improvement from Sheffield United
Chris Wilder has seen a vast improvement from Sheffield United / Pool/Getty Images

What time is kick off? 19:30 (GMT)
Where is it being played? Bramall Lane
TV channel? BBC iPlayer (UK)

When you're at the bottom of the league, things strangely seem to go well in the FA Cup - probably when you really wish they wouldn't.

That's certainly the case for Premier League relegation strugglers Sheffield United, while Bristol City's season is already petering out into the dreaded realms of mid-table Championship mediocrity.

Will Chris Wilder want to win? Of course.
Will he be devastated if the Blades go out? No.
Are Bristol City in terrible form? Yes.
Might they steal a win anyway? YES.

Prediction: Sheffield United 1-2 Bristol City

Everton vs Tottenham

Everton will fancy their chances at home
Everton will fancy their chances at home / MOLLY DARLINGTON/Getty Images

What time is kick off? 20:15 (GMT)
Where is it being played? Goodison Park
TV channel? BT Sport 1 (UK)

If there's two serially underachieving top flight teams who really want to win a trophy, it's probably Everton and Tottenham.

The good news for the Toffees is that they've now got Carlo Ancelotti on the touchline, and that man is a serial winner. The bad news for Tottenham is they've got Jose Mourinho, who seems to be stuck in a 2005 time warp.

That, and the fact Spurs are already in the League Cup final, overwhelmingly suggests it'll be a blue day on Merseyside.

Prediction: Everton 2-1 Tottenham

Thursday

Wolves vs Southampton

Nuno Espirito Santo and Ralph Hasenhuttl are going through relatively tough spells
Nuno Espirito Santo and Ralph Hasenhuttl are going through relatively tough spells / OLI SCARFF/Getty Images

What time is kick off? 17:30 (GMT)
Where is it being played? Molineux
TV channel? BT Sport 1 (UK)

From two teams with aspirations of winning trophies to two teams who just, well, want to remember what winning games feel like.

It's been a tough old run of late for both Wolves and Southampton, but the visitors in particular - who endured their second 9-0 pummelling in as many seasons recently and have an injury list that would make Liverpool realise their squad depth isn't so bad after all.

The game doesn't scream classic at you for those reasons, but it does whisper penalty fun - where it's anybody's ball game.

Prediction; Wolves 1-1 Southampton (3-4 on pens)

Barnsley vs Chelsea

Thomas Tuchel is off to a good start at Chelsea
Thomas Tuchel is off to a good start at Chelsea / Clive Rose/Getty Images

What time is kick off? 20:00 (GMT)
Where is it being played? Oakwell
TV channel? BBC One (UK)

Chelsea's axing of Frank Lampard is already looking like a bit of a Roman Abramovich masterstroke, given the impressive we're never giving the ball away nature of Thomas Tuchel's first four performances.

Furthermore, Timo Werner is starting to look like an actual footballer again, which is probably beneficial for everybody and is definitely ideal heading into a game against Barnsley - who are without a Championship win this year.

It might be attritional, and will almost certainly involve Chelsea having over 75% possession, but this one should be a comfortable away win.

Prediction: Barnsley 0-2 Chelsea

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