FA Cup

FA Cup 3rd round replays – Wednesday

After last night’s shock victories for Lincoln City and Sutton United, tonight sees the full fourth round line up confirmed as the final three replays take place.

 

Newcastle United vs Birmingham City

 

Newcastle will be delighted to have Jonjo Shelvey back from suspension for tonight’s replay. They are however without Vurnon Anita, Dwight Gayle, Isaac Hayden and Aleksandar Mitrovic due to injuries.

 

Birmingham are planning to rest Michael Morrison and Lukas Jutkiewicz ahead of Saturday’s trip to Blackburn Rovers. New signing, Craig Gardner is ineligible having played for West Bromwich Albion already in the FA Cup. Clayton Donaldson and Greg Stewart are ruled out with injuries.

 

The original tie at St Andrews ended 1-1 after Jutkiewicz forced a replay after cancelling out the Magpies’ early lead through Daryl Murphy.  If that match was tight, tonight should be interesting with a few first team players being rested.

 

The winner will visit Oxford United in the fourth round. Newcastle haven’t progressed beyond this stage since 2012 but Birmingham boss, Gianfranco Zola is yet to win a match since succeeding Gary Rowett as manager.

 

Prediction: Newcastle United 2-1 Birmingham City AET

Result: Newcastle United 3-1 Birmingham City NT

 

Plymouth Argyle vs Liverpool

 

Failure to progress will be appalling for Liverpool but Plymouth are planning to go ultra defensive. The original tie at Anfield ended 0-0 after Jurgen Klopp fielded a young side, who struggled to break the Pilgrims’ back line down.

 

Plymouth will be without David Goodwillie due to personal events. Connor Smith is also ruled out due to injury.

 

Klopp is set to start Loris Karius in goal.  Nathaniel Clyne and Lucas Leiva are out with injuries whilst Joel Matip is ineligible after refusing to play in the African Cup of Nations.

 

This match should be tight because Liverpool have only scored three goals so far in 2017 and have a congested month with fixtures against Swansea, Southampton and Chelsea all confirmed.

 

It wouldn’t be a surprise if Klopp saw victory in the League Cup as a priority and is prepared to risk humiliation by a League Two side so that the Reds can have the fourth round weekend off to prepare for a must win league meeting with Chelsea.

 

A home tie against Wolverhampton Wanderers awaits the winner.

 

Prediction: Plymouth 1-0 Liverpool

Result: Plymouth 0-1 Liverpool

 

Southampton vs Norwich City

 

The original tie saw a 2-2 draw so expect both teams to be in contrasting mindsets tonight. Southampton have the second leg of their League Cup semi next Wednesday night meaning that they may view that match as a higher priority.

 

Charlie Austin, Sofiane Boufal and Stephen Davis are out injured. Captain, Jose Fonte is still out of consideration after handing in a transfer request.

 

Norwich is without danger man, Nelson Oliveira as he starts his suspension after being sent off against Rotherham at the weekend.

 

Southampton’s home record is however rocky despite having one of the best defences. They will need their defence to be on top form after conceding late on at Burnley at the weekend.

 

The Canaries will be keen to progress and set up a home tie against Arsenal in the next round. They have however only picked up one draw from their last three away games so are vulnerable away from home.

 

Prediction: Southampton 1-1 Norwich AET (Southampton win 4-3 on penalties)

Result: Southampton 1-0 Norwich NT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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