FA Cup Preview: 4 Bold Predictions for 5th Round

Bleacher ReportCorrespondent IMarch 11, 2017

NORWICH, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 04:  Anthony Pilkington of Norwich City scores a goal during the Barcays Premier League match between Norwich City and Bolton Wanderers at Carrow Road on February 4, 2012 in Norwich, England.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

With only 16 teams left in the FA Cup, things are heating up down on the pitch.

Some surprises of the tournament so far have been Crawley Town, Birmingham City and Brighton & Hove Albion.

The matches on Saturday and Sunday (in order of play) are as follows: Chelsea v Birmingham City, Everton v Blackpool, Norwich City v Leicester City, Millwall v Bolton Wanderers, Sunderland v Arsenal, Crawley Town v Stoke City, Stevenage v Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool v Brighton & Hove Albion.

Here are some notes about where the competition stands:

Crawley Town is the only team from England's fourth tier remaining, and this is their second year in a row as the lowest-ranked team in the fifth round.

Jermaine Beckford of Leicester City leads all players still in the competition with five goals.

Will Buckley from Brighton & Hove Albion won the Player of the Round Award for the fourth round after a fantastic performance against Newcastle United that helped his team to a 1-0 win.

Here are four predictions for this, the fifth round of the competition:


Crawley Town will continue their miraculous run

Stoke City has cooled off considerably, losing their last four matches and five of their last six. In fact, the last time they beat a Premier League team was on January 2nd.

However, this match is not against top-tier opposition, but a League Two team. That said, Crawley Town has only beaten Bury, Redbridge, Hull City and Bristol City and has not yet played a Premier League team in the competition. I do think that Stoke is vulnerable enough to go down in this one, though.


Anthony Pilkington scores a brace for Norwich City

Pilkington now has two goals in two games for the Canaries and is looking hungry for more.  After the squad's 3-2 win at Swansea last weekend, Norwich is flying high and will put away Leicester with no problems.


Sunderland will take down Arsenal

Sunderland lost to Arsenal in the final minute last Saturday, 2-1 at home. I don't see it happening a second week in a row. Sunderland has too much pride to give up two home losses to the same team in one week, whether regardless of whether it's Arsenal or not.


Chelsea and Birmingham City will draw

Birmingham doesn't give up silly goals. They have only conceded 27 goals in league play this season. Chelsea, on the other hand, gives up goals that should not be scored on them. I see this game ending in a 1-1 draw and needing to be replayed. 

The fifth round of the FA Cup should prove to be very exciting. The great thing about the competition is that crazy things happen all the time.

Maybe only four bold predictions is not enough but, in any case, this weekend should be quite entertaining for anyone tuning in to the matches that will narrow the field down to eight teams.