We are down from 737 clubs to the final 16 in the FA Cup. Major clubs like defending champions Arsenal and Liverpool are out of the competition, but other heavyweights like Chelsea, Tottenham, and the two Manchesters remain. At this point, those teams are likely to play their starters the rest of the way. However, the FA Cup is historically known for its upsets, and teams like Hull City and Huddersfield will attempt to keep their dreams alive.
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Chelsea vs. Hull City
Date and Time: February 16, 2018, 3 p.m. ET
Location: Stamford Bridge
US Television Coverage: FOX Sports 2
Betting Line: Chelsea -2 +105, O/U 3
Hull City plays in the Championship, so they were always going to be a major underdog coming into this one. However, this team is racked with injuries heading into this tie
Hull is just one point clear of relegation from Championship because of those injuries. Forwards Kamil Grosicki and Abel Hernandez, midfielder James Weir, and defenders Ondrej Mazuch, Moses Odubajo, and Michael Dawson are all going to miss this clash due to injuries.
Additionally, since three of Hull’s players are on loan from Chelsea, they will be unable to play in this game. Defenders Michael Hector, Fikayo Tomori, and Ola Aina are all ineligible, further stripping the depth at the back line.
It looks like Emerson Palmieri will be making his Chelsea debut in this one. Manager Antonio Conte has hinted that he will be playing some of the club’s regular starters, while resting other members. That opens the door for Palmieri to start the first time since leaving Roma last month.
Olivier Giroud and Pedro will likely start for Chelsea here. Giroud looked sharp in his first start since coming over from Arsenal, while Pedro has been a consistent contributor.
Huddersfield Town vs. Manchester United
Date and Time: February 17, 2018, 12:30 p.m. ET
Location: Kirklees Stadium
US Television Coverage: FOX Sports 2
Betting Line: Manchester United -1 and -1.5, O/U 2.5, 3
This will be one of two tilts between Premier League sides in the FA Cup this weekend. Huddersfield moved itself out of the relegation zone with a win over the weekend and has already stunned Manchester United once. Back in October, Huddersfield knocked off Manchester United 2-1 at Kirklees.
Although Manchester United are in second in the Premier League, they have not been as dominant as you’d think. The back line has been shoddy, leading to the club losing two of its last three, but they did happen to beat Huddersfield just two weeks ago.
That will be the main thing to watch from Manchester United’s end in this one. Victor Lindelof was ghastly in the back during the club’s loss to Huddersfield earlier in the year, and Phil Jones has not been much better.
Jose Mourinho will not be able to use two of his reserves in this one either. Forward Marcus Rashford and midfielder Ander Herrera will both be out for this game due to injuries.
It’s unfortunate that Huddersfield will be without arguably its best performing player for this important clash. Aaron Mooy has looked very good as of late, but suffered a nasty knee injury in the club’s 4-1 win over Bournemouth. Without him, midfielders like Jonathan Hogg and Tom Ince will need to play well.
FA Cup Fifth Round Free Picks
It’s hard to go against Chelsea in the first game. The question is whether or not they will cover the goal line. Without so many key players, two goals might not be enough.
In the other match, I like Huddersfield to lose a close one. They will keep it close throughout with Manchester United, but fall by a goal in the end.
FA Cup Fifth Round Picks: Chelsea and Huddersfield Town on the goal line
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