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EPL Weekend Viewing Guide, FA Cup Quarterfinals

manunited arsenal 1404477c EPL Weekend Viewing Guide, FA Cup QuarterfinalsOnly 8 matches this week, and the teams from Manchester feature in four of them.  While the derbies were not as exciting this year as last, are we heading for an FA Cup showdown?  United and Chelsea should advance to the Champions League quarterfinals.  Meanwhile, Saturday is not the May Day showdown we are all waiting for, but sort of an opening morsel.  With their quad dreams now halved, do Arsenal put their best 11 on the pitch at Old Trafford while United have to have at least one eye on Tuesday night?

Remember that starting Sunday we will have a couple of weeks of later (US) kickoffs as we move our clocks forward but Europe does not.

****:  Must-see.  Cancel all other activities.  Do not even DVR as even in America you might hear the score!
:  Strong match; worth watching live; DVR a must if you can’t see live
**:   Flip through quickly to see the goals, red cards, injuries, and perhaps watch the last 5 minutes + injury time if close
*:    Only if you’re a die-hard

Matches shown in chronological order:

Thursday, March 10 (all times EST)
** Braga v Liverpool, Europa League R16 leg 1, 1 pm, DirecTV 484
Andy Carroll to start?  Suarez is cup-tied and Gerrard is staying home.  Liverpool will be fine with a draw but may do better.

** Dynamo Kiev v Man City, Europa League R16 leg 1, 3:05 pm, DirecTV 481
Anyone want to bet on nil-nil?

Saturday, March 12
** Birmingham v Bolton, FA Cup Quarterfinal, 7:45 am, FS+ [Dowd]
The double and still go down?  It would be fun to see an improved Bolton in a cup semi-final or final given how well they have played this year.

**** Man Utd v Arsenal, FA Cup Quarterfinal, 12:15 pm, FSC/FD [Foy]
The start of 3 straight home matches for the Red Devils, and we’re all fascinated by team selection as they look ahead to Marseille on Wednesday.  Can the Gunners quickly recover from Fabregas’ absurd back heel, RvP’s even more absurd sending-off, and more importantly the fact that they could not even attempt a single shot on Tuesday night in Barcelona?  Arsenal last won here in 2007, and the last time they met here in an FA Cup match, they were shellacked 4-nil.  Park scored the only goal in their first league meeting in mid-December and Rooney skied a penalty over the bar.  Webb cautioned 4 Gunners and no one from the home side.  Still should be the match of the week, and Arsenal really need to find a way to put the ball in the back of the net.

Sunday, March 13
(all times EDT)
*** Stoke v West Ham, FA Cup Quarterfinal, 10 am, FS+ [Jones]
The Hammers are clearly revitalized by Demba Ba and der Hammer.  Add February’s player-of-the-month (Parker), Cole, Piquionne, Obinna, and the team that couldn’t score now is regularly pumping in 3 goals/match.  They did it to Liverpool in an impressive home win and they just did it to Stoke at Upton Park on Saturday.  Now the sides meet again, and Tony Pulis needs to turn something around and do a better job of controlling midfield play.  Opposing managers are countering their long-ball, throw-it-in-the-box strategy, deploying 3 tall center halves, and other than against the woeful set piece defending of the Black Cats, Stoke are having difficulty scoring.  I predict a better, closer match, and maybe even a replay.

** Man City v Reading, FA Cup Quarterfinal, 12:45 pm, FSC/FD [Probert]
Reading won’t be afraid having won at Everton, and they will defend well as a team, but City should have too many weapons.

Tuesday, March 15
*** Man Utd (0) v Marseille (0), Champions League leg 2, 3:45 pm, FSC/FD
Deschamps lifted the Champions League trophy 8 years ago for Marseille, and now tries to win one as manager.  Nil-nil wasn’t what they hoped for at home, but it’s not a terrible scoreline for a tough defensive side.  Can they actually score a goal?  I think we all saw why Vidic is the most important player in the EPL after what Liverpool did to the captain’s side in his absence.  United should advance.

Wednesday, March 16
* Chelsea (2) v Copenhagen (0), Champions League leg 2, 3:45 pm, FSC
Unlikely to be an interesting contest.

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6 Responses to EPL Weekend Viewing Guide, FA Cup Quarterfinals

  1. Joe says:

    Nil-nil nothing, Dynamo beat the Hell out of Man City. With Shaktar scaring the Champions League and Dynamo about to knock out a top 3 team in England, you’ve gotta think the Ukraine is rising in soccer stature.

  2. Brandon says:

    Im visting London the 12th – 15th for the first time and wonder how to get tickets to matches. Any tips?

  3. As a United fan I can see us beating Arsenal but not without a fight. Arsenal have a great team and was unlucky not to progress further in the CL.
    They will put there effort into the League and Cup now which is a bad thing for US.

    Only Time will tell lets hope United can win the Treble! I doubt it but hopefully they might! ;0)

  4. El Tri 2014 says:

    With Smalling, Vidic and Van der Sar back together, I think Man Utd. have a good chance winning at Old Trafford. Plus, it’s time for mid fielders of Man Utd. show up to this game, I think Fletch, Scholes and Carrick will have a turnaround game, Scholes will probably rest for Marseilles however. The winger position will be a problem and SAF may be forced to have Rooney play the right wing whiles Giggs plays the left. Of course, Rafael has shown well playing the right wing, maybe O’Shea will defind and have Rafael play that position.

  5. Terence says:

    Birmingham are tired and hurt so I expect Bolton to win this one or at least get a draw to move the replay to the Reebok.

    Both Manchester United and Arsenal are down on confidence and neither side will want to lose this game. I’m going for a draw or a late United winner as Fergie will send out more attackers to go for it late on as United don’t want a replay.

    I think Stoke will get beat by West Ham who have started to turn things around. Stoke has been struggling of late.

    Manchester City should bounce back from their poor display in their Europa league loss yesterday. They will find reading relentless but City should have enough quality to win.

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