The FA Cup quarter finals have thrown up some fascinating fixtures, and we are in for a good weekend of football. Everton and Sunderland will be a tightly-contested fixture, and the tactical minds of Moyes and O’Neill will clash to create a great game.
Tottenham-Stevenage against Bolton, even though in Football we shouldn’t make presumptions—but most of us are expecting a Tottenham win. If they do overcome Stevenage, I can see them go on to ease past Bolton.
Chelsea has a tough replay at St. Andrews. They will have to overcome a strong Birmingham outfit if they want to take on Leicester in the quarter finals.
All of these games will be fantastic matchups, but for me—the tie of the round is Stoke taking a trip to Anfield to take on Liverpool.
History doesn’t stack up well for Stoke—as they go into the match not winning a game at Anfield in nearly 53 years. But Stoke will be encouraged by their last outing at Anfield when they managed to shut out Liverpool, and really limited their chances to long-range efforts with the game finishing 0-0.
Liverpool also holds the upper hand in the FA Cup wins with seven wins to their name and six runners up medals—only Spurs, Arsenal and their fierce rivals Manchester United have a better cup record. Stoke had one runners up medal to their name when Manchester City overcame The Potters 1-0 in the 2011 final.
In the other league game, where Stoke took on Liverpool at The Britannia—The Potters caused Liverpool to lose their first game of the season. Jonathan Walter scored the only goal of the game, and Liverpool spurned every chance they got in front of goal. Asmir Begovic was the difference between the sides on the day—as he pulled off save after save.
These two sides have actually met each other three times already this season. The other match was in the Carling Cup Fourth Round. It took a Luis Suarez brace in the second half to overcome Stoke that had taken the lead just before half time—thanks to Kenwyne Jones.
Anfield is no longer the fortress that it once was and Stoke will really fancy their chances of progressing to the semifinals. This being said, Liverpool has a fantastic cup record. They will find themselves in the Carling Cup Final this season, and would relish the chance at another FA Cup run.
With Liverpool winning the competition back in 2006 and Stoke coming in as runners up last year, this is set to be a great match with both teams vying for a place in the semifinal.
They go in to battle for the fourth time this season—with each team having a win to their name and the other game being a draw. Everything is set for this one to be a classic.
Verdict - Stoke to shut out Liverpool and take the game by a single goal