FA Cup weekend acca predictions: Five teams to back in our 43/1 five-fold
- Blackburn to beat Birmingham
- West Brom to win away at Bristol City
- Burnley to win away at Ipswich
- Over 1.5 Brighton goals against Liverpool
- Sheffield United to win away at Wrexham
With nine Premier League teams already eliminated, this season's FA Cup looks set to provide some fairytale stories for the underdogs.
Ahead of the fourth-round fixtures this weekend, we have picked out five FA Cup fixtures to form a five-fold acca.
Recommended five-fold: Blackburn to win, West Brom to win, Burnley to win, over 1.5 Brighton goals and Sheffield United to win at 43/1.
Both teams have pressing concerns in the Championship, as was reflected in the third round when Blackburn manager Jon Dahl Tomasson made six changes and Birmingham boss John Eustace made five.
But promotion-chasing Rovers still won impressively away at Norwich and the fact that key attackers Ben Brereton Diaz and Bradley Dack both started was an indication that Tomasson also fancies a run at the FA Cup.
Birmingham only just edged past League One strugglers Forest Green in the third round and the Blues' run of five successive league defeats may prompt Eustace to rest players for an increasingly tough relegation scrap.
West Brom's trip to Bristol City is another all-Championship clash between a promotion-chaser and a relegation struggler and both managers are likely to shuffle their packs for the cup.
But Baggies boss Carlos Corberan has the far stronger squad and had his team picked up points all season at the rate they have since he took charge in October, then West Brom would be on 63 points – one more than leaders Burnley.
The Robins should avoid a serious relegation scrap but are too close to the bottom three for comfort, and that may mean that Nigel Pearson makes changes against a Baggies side who have two wins and a draw in their last three trips to Ashton Gate.
Both teams are doing well this season but while Ipswich have work to do to reach the automatic promotion places in League One, Burnley sit 18 points clear of third place in the Championship and are nailed-on for automatic promotion.
Manager Vincent Kompany will not admit it publicly but promotion is a done deal for the Clarets. And with a presentable route into the last 16 opening up, the former Manchester City defender will fancy an extended FA Cup run to add gloss to a superb debut campaign.
Burnley have won 10 of their last 11 matches – with the exception being a 2-0 defeat at Old Trafford in the Carabao Cup – and an Ipswich side who have won only three of their last eight games – mostly against third-tier opponents – could be outclassed.
Liverpool have struggled for consistency and as a result find themselves scrapping for European places with this weekend's FA Cup hosts, Brighton.
The Seagulls sit two points and three places above the mid-table Reds and Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has had no answer to the attacking fluency of Brighton in their two Premier League meetings this term.
October's 3-3 draw at Anfield in Roberto De Zerbi’s first match as Brighton manager was followed by a 3-0 victory for the Seagulls against Liverpool a fortnight ago, and the Seagulls have also netted five goals in two meetings with Arsenal this term and won 2-1 at Manchester United in August.
De Zerbi’s side have scored at least twice in each of their last six outings and will fancy their chances of getting another couple of goals against a Liverpool team who have conceded 10 goals in their last five away games.
While this may not be as straightforward as it looks on paper, Sheffield United should do enough to edge past Wrexham.
The hosts are flying in the National League, sitting top of the division and three points clear of the play-off places as they look to end their 15-year Football League exile.
However, the Blades are firmly on course for promotion to the Premier League thanks to a run of 10 wins in their last 12 Championship outings, which has sent them 13 points clear of the play-off slots.
It might not be the rout that a clash of fifth tier vs second suggests but, with promotion under control, the Steel City outfit can put their full focus into the FA Cup to navigate a tricky test.
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