FA Cup: Can Man United end Liverpool’s quadruple dreams?

Football Tuesday March 5, 2024 By: Harry Howes

FA Cup fever is gripping the nation and following the quarter-final draw, we really are into the business end of the competition. Believe it or not, this season’s edition of the historic cup got underway way back in August last year as clubs up and down the country entered the preliminary qualifying rounds.

Now, seven months later, we’re down to our final eight teams, who will all fancy their chances of climbing those iconic steps at Wembley in May’s FA Cup final. Manchester City are among those that remain and the reigning champions will be keen to defend their crown.

But fierce rivals Manchester United, as well as long-term challengers Liverpool, are looking to stop them. Ahead of next weekend’s quarter-finals, we’ve taken a closer look at each of the teams left in the competition.

Manchester United v Liverpool

The tie of the round sees old rivals United and Liverpool come face-to-face in a mouth-watering clash at Old Trafford. Having already secured the Carabao Cup, Liverpool are targeting an historic (and ambitious!) quadruple as they prepare for life without Jurgen Klopp.

The pair have met four times in the FA Cup this century, winning twice each, with a spectacular Bruno Fernandes free-kick securing a 3-2 win for United in their last meeting three years ago.

For Liverpool, the key talking point of late has been their kids, with a young side managing to outfight Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final. Three days later, they rallied again to beat Southampton in the FA Cup fifth round.

Lewis Koumas and Jayden Danns, both sons of former Premier League players, scored in a 3-0 win at Anfield as they spearheaded a hugely inexperienced team. And while they’ve performed well for Klopp, he’ll be keen for the likes of Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez and co. to be fit and firing when they head to Old Trafford.

With a Champions League spot next season slowly looking less likely to materialise for United, an FA Cup win may be their final chance to salvage some glory this year. They edged past Nottingham Forest last time out as Casemiro’s late winner saved them from extra time. But they’ll need to step their performance up against a Liverpool side more determined than ever to fight for their manager.

Manchester City v Newcastle United

Man City will entertain Newcastle in the next round and the pair’s fifth-round matches couldn’t have been more different. For City, Erling Haaland returned to form in style, smashing in five goals before the hour mark to stun Luton in a 6-2 win.

However, Newcastle stuttered at Championship outfit Blackburn and struggled to break through their resilience. They ultimately won on penalties but their tired performance was indicative of their difficulties this year.

But cup ties aren’t won on form and City will need to be at their best as they look to defend their title following last season’s treble win. Newcastle missed out on their first piece of silverware of their new regime as they lost last season’s Carabao Cup final.

After securing Champions League football last term, they’ve failed to match those heights this year and have looked well off the pace in recent months. Eddie Howe is desperate for some glory to reignite the club and he’ll have his fingers and toes crossed that the FA Cup could be just that.

Liverpool face Chelsea at Wembley Stadium during the 2022 FA Cup Final

FA Cup Hospitality

Chelsea v Leicester

These two sides last met in the FA Cup in the 2021 final, where a Youri Tielemans strike secured the trophy for Leicester. Since then, Chelsea have undergone a massive overhaul both on and off the pitch, while the Foxes have suffered relegation to the Championship.

Chelsea are hoping to bounce back from their Carabao Cup final defeat as Mauricio Pochettino looks to end his trophy hoodoo, having lost all three of his major finals as a manager in England.

Meanwhile, Leicester are flying at the top of the Championship and look in good shape to return to the top flight at the first time of asking. A dream first season for manager Enzo Maresca would be topped with an FA Cup win, although no second division team has won the competition since West Ham beat Arsenal in 1980.

In the last round, Chelsea survived a potential banana skin as Conor Gallagher came off the bench to secure a last-gasp 3-2 win over high-flying Leeds. Leicester are looking to secure another Premier League scalp after knocking out Bournemouth last time out.

Wolves v Coventry

A Midlands derby completes the quarter-final line-up, with Coventry looking to spring an upset against Premier League counterparts Wolves. They’ve enjoyed a strong cup run so far, smashing Maidstone 5-0 last time out to add to wins against Sheffield Wednesday and Oxford.

In fact, the Sky Blues have scored 16 goals in the competition so far and Wolves will be wary of taking them lightly. They missed out to Luton in last year’s play-off final but are in the hunt for another top-six finish this season.

Wolves are enjoying a renaissance under Gary O’Neill following a slow start to the season. They edged past Brighton in round five thanks to a goal from Mario Lemina and they’ve also seen off Brentford and fierce rivals West Brom in a tricky run to the quarter-finals.

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