7 March, 2014 - 11:19

FA Cup fixtures: Arsenal v Everton and more

As Capital One Cup has gone to Etihad last Sunday, eight teams will continue their run for FA Cup this weekend.

Arsenal v Everton

Arsenal, who have been struggling in February and the beginning of March, enter the arguably most difficult spell in current season, with fixtures against Everton, Bayern Munich, Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Manchester City coming up in the space of just one month. The Gunners suffered a huge blow to their Premier League title hopes last Saturday at Britannia Stadium and Arsene Wenger will be desperate to fight in the FA Cup in a bid to land the first trophy since 2005. However, on Wednesday night he suffered yet another setback with the news that Jack Wilshere will have to miss around six weeks after suffering a hairline fracture in a friendly against Denmark. Nacho Monreal and Laurent Koscielny are doubtful.

Everton have a less stressful fixture list and are never easy to play against under Roberto Martinez. The Spaniard won the FA Cup with Wigan last year and is hopeful to repeat that success with The Toffees. His main hitman Romelu Lukaku returned to full fitness, but centre-back Phil Jagielka is still doubtful.

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Sheffield United v Charlton Athletic

League One side Sheffield United have a terrific run of results and won their last eight matches, including FA Cup victories against Fulham and Nottingham Forest. Nigel Clough stands behind the team’s revival and looks optimistic to continue his way to the Cup final. Charlton Athletic struggle to leave the relegation zone of the Championship, but have three games in hand comparing to main rivals. FA Cup semifinal could give them a huge boost.

Hull City v Sunderland

The Tigers needed a replay to make it past Brighton and Hove and will host a spirited Sunderland side at KC Stadium. The Black Cats looked part during the League Cup final against Manchester City last Sunday and were in front until 55 minutes. Gus Poyet has no injury concerns, except reserve goalkeeper Keiren Westwood, but Steve Bruce will need to without James Chester, Paul McShane and Robert Brady. Nikica Jelavic and Shane Long are ineligible.

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Manchester City v Wigan Athletic

Manchester City host Wigan Athletic in what will unlikely be the replay of last year’s final. The Latics got a sensational win at Wembley last May courtesy of Ben Watson’s strike in added time. However, a lot has changed since that time with Wigan not a Premier League side anymore and Manchester City being a significantly stronger side now. They won the Capital One Cup last week and could return to the top of Premier League should they win postponed matches. The only absentees are Matija Nastasic and Stevan Jovetic. Wigan, however, have been in fine form recently and won their last five games.

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Author: Leon Smolski

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