For the first time in nearly four decades, we might have a team from outside the top flight win the FA Cup. Coming into the FA Cup Fifth Round, 13 of the 20 Premier League teams have been eliminated and half of the Big Six clubs are gone too. Most of the teams left in the competition at this point are from outside the Premier League, and another Big Six heavyweight will go down after Chelsea and Manchester United square off on Monday. If some more teams from outside the Premier League can pull off upsets this week, we could have a spicy quarterfinals.
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Queens Park Rangers vs Watford
- Date and Time: February 15, 2019, 2:45 p.m. ET
- Location: Loftus Road, London, England
- Betting Line: Watford -0.5, O/U 2 and 2.5
This is my favorite play of the weekend. Watford have been one of the best defensive teams in England over the last month. They have kept a clean sheet in four of their last five matches against Premier League teams, and it’s hard to see QPR finding a way to break through. QPR don’t have a great offense with just 39 goals in 31 Championship games, and they weren’t too impressive against Portsmouth in the last round. I love Watford here.
Newport County vs Manchester City
- Date and Time: February 16, 2019, 12:30 p.m. ET
- Location: Rodney Parade, Newport, Wales
- Betting Line: Manchester City -3, O/U 4 and 4.5
Poor Newport County. The fourth-division Welsh side are the lowest ranked team still alive in the FA Cup, and the Exiles have been very impressive. They got the better of both Leicester City and Middlesbrough, but now they must face the Manchester City steamroller. City have been flattening opponents. They crushed Rotherham United 7-0 and Burnley 5-0 in their previous two FA Cup matches, and they beat Chelsea 6-0 over the weekend. They are one of the biggest favorites I can ever remember this late in the FA Cup.
Bristol City vs Wolverhampton Wanderers
- Date and Time: February 17, 2019, 8 a.m. ET
- Location: Ashton Gate, Bristol, England
- Betting Line: Wolverhampton -0.5, O/U 2 and 2.5
This one will be a defensive affair. Wolves have been sharp in defense and have one of the best goalkeepers around in Rui Patricio. Even though he had a hiccup against Newcastle United on Monday, he is normally rock solid and makes Wolves one of the best non-Big Six clubs in England. Bristol City have been strong in the back too. The Rovers were able to shut out Huddersfield Town in the third round, and they are allowing under a goal a game in the Championship.
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Chelsea vs Manchester United
- Date and Time: February 18, 2019, 2:30 p.m. ET
- Location: Stamford Bridge, London, England
- Betting Line: Chelsea PK and -0.5, O/U 2.5
Manchester United have to be cursing their luck in the draw. The Red Devils were drawn against Arsenal last round, and now they must face Chelsea this round. Worse yet, both matches were on the road, so they haven’t even had the comfort of playing in Old Trafford. However, Chelsea have not been in good form lately. The Blues suffered their worst loss in club history last weekend, and they were smashed 4-0 by Bournemouth too. Worse yet, they have to travel to Malmo on Thursday, so they won’t have the rest that United will enjoy.
FA Cup Fifth Round Free Picks
The best play on the board is Watford, and I love their chances to get a road win. It’s hard to go against Manchester City, even laying three goals, and I think Manchester United have a good chance to get a result too. My upset pick of the week is Bristol City, as the Rovers have impressed me with their play.
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