Championship Play-Off Final: Michael Owen’s View
Remember there are no replays this season from the 5th Round onwards and the ties will go to extra-time and then penalties to find a winner.
QPR were four down after 42 minutes to Birmingham City at the weekend, but they would have picked up an unlikely point had Nakhi Wells not had his injury time penalty saved by former Rangers keeper Lee Camp in the Blues’ goal.
There is nothing wrong with the R’s battling qualities and they have been scoring plenty of goals of late, but they surrendered the lead and went down to two late goals at Ashton Gate midweek.
Watford returned to winning ways at the expense of Everton last time and I just feel the Hornets additional quality will prevail in an exciting, full-blooded tie.
Tip: Watford to win and both teams to score at 31/10
Promotion remains Derby County’s primary objective and they have not reached the quarterfinal of the competition since 1999 losing four times at this 5th Round stage in the meantime.
The Seagulls have never lost to the Rams in their five previous encounters in all competitions and I feel it will be the hosts who make it through to the last eight even though Chris Hughton’s side have yet to win at the Amex in 2019.
Both sides had famous wins against Premier League opposition in the previous round with West Ham and Everton on the end of receiving end of the FA Cup shocks.
The Dons were a non-League outfit the only other time the sides have met in the Cup (2010) and they have certainly come a long way in the interim period, although they remain marooned at the foot of the League One table despite a much-needed win at Walsall midweek.
I expect the Lions to get at least a draw.
Tip: Game to finish in a draw at 5/2
City have won their two FA Cup ties by an aggregate score of 12-0 so far and I expect the Premier League champions to continue their recent goal-fest at the expense of the Exiles who lost at home to MK Dons midweek.
The hosts Rodney Parade pitch may not be up to Premier League standard and it might take the Premier League champions longer than is the recent norm of late to find the back of the net, but when they do I expect them to run out emphatic winners.
Tip: City to win to nil at 4/6
— Bristol City FC (@BristolCity) February 12, 2019
Wolves have lost just two of their 18 games against Bristol City in all competitions, but the Robins have won their last nine games and are unbeaten in fifteen and will certainly not be lacking in confidence in what promises to be one of the ties of the round.
Wolves were not at their best against Newcastle on Monday, but they are a quality side on the break and it would not surprise me if the tie went into extra-time and possibly all the way to penalties.
Tip: Game to finish in a draw at 5/2
Doncaster Rovers have never reached the quarterfinals of the FA Cup and I don’t expect them to make history at the Keepmoat Stadium although they scored three without reply against Southend on Tuesday.
Roy Hodgson’s side beat Spurs in the last round and will be well aware that a maximum of two of the “big six” sides can qualify for the last eight of the competition. This is an opportunity they will not want to waste.
Tip: Palace to win at 4/7
There are normally goals in Brentford games and I expect to see a number at the Vitality Stadium on Sunday. The Swans won the last league game between the sides 3-2 back in December and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a similar result this weekend.
It has not been a great couple of days for either team with Chelsea hit for six by Manchester City on Sunday before United were brought back down to earth with a bang against PSG in the Champions League 1st leg earlier in the week.
The game is a repeat, of course, of last season’s final which Chelsea won 1-0 and the Blues have actually beaten United on the last four occasions they have met in the competition. Both clubs have a rich history in the competition and Chelsea are looking to reach the last eight for the fourth season in a row – United are looking to reach the quarterfinals for the 5th season on the spin.
United have only won two of their last 22 away games at Chelsea in all competitions, but I feel the game will go to extra-time and possibly penalties before we find a winner.
Tip: Game to finish in a scoring draw at 18/5