Saturday FA Cup 5th Round Tipsheet: Citizens to win in a canter again

Expect Man City to have far too many guns for Huddersfield on Saturday
Expect Man City to have far too many guns for Huddersfield on Saturday
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We've reached the last 16 of this season's FA Cup, but with five games being televised this weekend Mike Norman has just three ties kicking off at 3pm to form his regular Saturday tipsheet...

"Just days before a midweek Premier League game the City boss started his fourth round tie against Crystal Palace with the likes of Vincent Kompany, David Silva, Raheem Sterling, Yaya Toure, Aleksandar Kolarov, and Leroy Sane."

Back Man City -1 @ [2.24] v Huddersfield

Huddersfield [8.6] v Man City [1.44]; The Draw [5.2]

I listened to a frank interview with Huddersfield chairman Dean Hoyle on Thursday afternoon who openly admitted that the last thing his club wanted this season was a good cup run.

That doesn't necessarily mean that Terriers boss David Wagner is of the same opinion, but it certainly tells us exactly where Huddersfield's priorities lie this term, and you can bet your bottom dollar that Wagner has been reminded of this.

Of course, Wagner knows what his club's priority is also, so when I say 'been reminded', what I really mean is told something along the lines of, look, we're third in the Championship table and we've got a huge home game against fourth-placed Reading on Tuesday night!

Huddersfield played this midweek also, so with Hoyle's admission, and the game against the Royals to come, I just don't see Wagner fielding anything but a weakened team in this match.

City boss Pep Guardiola is likely to make changes also with his club's Champions League home tie against Monaco on the horizon, but a below strength Man City team should still be far too strong for a much-changed Huddersfield side.

And given the line-ups Guardiola has fielded so far in this competition I'm convinced that he sees this as a very winnable competition. Just days before a midweek Premier League game the City boss started his fourth round tie against Crystal Palace with the likes of Vincent Kompany, David Silva, Raheem Sterling, Yaya Toure, Aleksandar Kolarov, and Leroy Sane.

I fully expect a number of those stars to be in Saturday's line-up also, and I won't be surprised at all if back-to-form Man City win this in a canter.

Recommended Bet
Back Man City -1 @ [2.24]
(best bet)

Millwall [3.2] v Leicester [2.5]; The Draw [3.4]

Millwall boss Neil Harris will field a full strength team for the visit of the reigning Premier League champions, that's almost a given, but what starting XI Claudio Ranieri will go with is anyone's guess.

The Foxes boss desperately needs a change in fortunes following his team's terrible form in 2017 - they're the only club in the top four divisions not to score a single league goal this year - so the temptation must be there to go with his strongest line-up possible in the hope of securing a confidence-boosting win.

But with Leicester facing Sevilla in the Champions League on Wednesday night the likelihood is that Ranieri will save his strongest side for that game. Some will argue that it doesn't matter. The Italian is clearly not getting the same effort from his players as he was last year, and whether he makes changes or not for Saturday's trip to the Den this tie looks ripe for an upset.

The Lions are unbeaten in 12 games in all competitions and they've already dumped Premier League outfits Bournemouth and Watford out of this season's FA Cup.

In front of their own fans Harris' men are very strong having won seven and drawn one of their last eight games. They've also kept five clean sheets in succession at the Den, including in each of their two FA Cup victories over Premier League opposition.

Leicester's form is dire. They've lost five Premier League games on the spin, all without scoring a single goal, and they've won just once inside 90 minutes - a third round cup win at Everton - from their last nine outings.

Without knowing exactly what team Ranieri will field, and even at just [3.2], I believe the logical call is to side with the in-form League One outfit here.

Recommended Bet
Back Millwall to Win @ [3.2]

Middlesbrough [1.51] v Oxford [7.8]; The Draw [4.6]

Unlike the above game, this doesn't quite give you the feeling that an upset is on the cards, but one thing Middlesbrough must not do is take Oxford lightly.

Certainly Aitor Karanka hasn't taken any of his two lower league opponents lightly so far, naming strong line-ups for the victories over Sheffield Wednesday and Accrington Stanley respectively, and the Boro manager has already stated that he will field a strong starting XI for the visit of Saturday's League One opponents.

Middlesbrough's league form isn't great, but they are tough to beat at the Riverside Stadium and don't concede many goals. They had the best defensive record in the whole of England last season, and only Chelsea, Manchester United, and Tottenham have conceded fewer league goals than the Teessiders this term.

Karanka has been setting his team up extremely cautiously all season, often playing three naturally defensive midfielders in front of a back four, with just a lone striker up front. He did the same for the visit of Wednesday in round three, and although the personnel was different for the game against Accrington in round four, the system was very much the same.

So we shouldn't really expect a change in formation on Saturday, and if that's the case then Oxford will find it extremely hard to breach Boro's defence.

United have been playing quite well of late, winning five of their last six in all competitions, and I'm sure they'll prove a stubborn test for Middlesbrough. But I just don't see an upset, and I don't expect this to be the cup tie of the weekend either.

Boro will be happy to win this narrowly without conceding and move on, and that's exactly how I see the game ending.

Recommended Bet
Back Middlesbrough Win to Nil @ 6/5


You can follow me on Twitter - @MikkyMo73

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