2018-19 FA Cup: Fifth Round – Doncaster Rovers vs Crystal Palace

Doncaster Rovers make their first appearance at this stage in 63 years as they welcome Crystal Palace to Keepmoat Stadium for their FA Cup fifth round tie. 

Having gotten lucky with relatively easy ties so far, Doncaster will definitely be eying up their biggest scalp yet as Palace face their first away trip in the FA Cup this season. 

Team news

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Doncaster have Andy Butler available after suspension but Rian McLean and Tyler Smith are cup-tied. 

Crystal Palace will hand Julian Speroni a late fitness test as he battles a thigh injury. 

Cheikhou Kouyate (ankle) and Connor Wickham are both available for Palace whilst James Tomkins won’t be risked here as he nears a return from a calf strain. 

Wilfried Zaha is suspended as he serves an additional one match ban for his red card at Southampton a few weeks ago, following his failed appeal after serving the automatic ban a fortnight ago. 

Pape Souare is still sidelined with his shoulder injury until mid March. 

 

Stat Attack

  • This is first FA Cup meeting between these teams although both won two out of four League Cup meetings each. 
  • Three of last five meetings have finished as draws, with two ending 1-1. 
  • Since winning their first two trips to Doncaster, Crystal Palace haven’t won in last six with four defeats and two draws (D2, L4). 
  • Doncaster are yet to advance from this stage, having crashed out in fifth round on four previous occasions. 
  • Crystal Palace have advanced from four of their 15 appearances in the fifth round. 

 

Prediction

Given their dire away form at Doncaster and pressure of Premier League relegation battle, it’s hard to see which competition is Roy Hodgson and Crystal Palace’s priority until team sheet is released. 

Saying that, Rovers are fighting for a play-off spot in League One so I can see a close battle here as both probably would be wise to exit now and focus on their league battles. 

Ultimately, I am going for an away win because Palace have the stronger depth on bench and are more likely to go deeper than Quarter Finals. 

Prediction: Doncaster Rovers 1-2 Crystal Palace

Result: Doncaster Rovers 0-2 Crystal Palace

 

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