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5 talking points ahead of the FA Cup quarter-finals

5 talking points ahead of the FA Cup quarter-finals
© Reuters
The semi-finals at Wembley are in sight.

The FA Cup quarter-finals take place this weekend, with the eight remaining teams eyeing a place at Wembley.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at five talking points ahead of the four ties.

Continuing the quadruple assault

Manchester City have already won the Carabao Cup this season
Manchester City have already won the Carabao Cup this season (Nigel French/PA)

With the Carabao Cup already in the trophy cabinet, easy Champions League progression this week and sitting on top of the Premier League, Manchester City will now turn their attention to the next stage of their quadruple mission. They will certainly be favourites to make it to the semi-final as they visit Swansea, but Pep Guardiola, whose best FA Cup achievement at City is the last four, will be wary after his side were embarrassed at Wigan last season. Guardiola is unlikely to waver too much from his strongest team as he will not be ready to take any chances in south Wales.

Championship challengers

Swansea and Millwall are flying the flag for the EFL in this year's competition as the two Championship sides eye a semi-final berth. Swansea, then a Premier League side, got to this stage last season before losing to Tottenham and their task is not any easier this year as they host Manchester City, so not too many people will be backing them to reach a first semi-final since 1964. Millwall, in a relegation battle, were in the last four as recently as 2013 and they have saved their best form for the FA Cup this year, memorably beating Everton in the earlier rounds. Their home clash with Brighton looks entirely winnable, so the 2004 finalists will fancy their chances of heading back to Wembley.

Ending a semi-final drought

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Brighton have their eye on just their second ever FA Cup semi-final and first since 1983 when they went on to reach the final. It is their second quarter-final in two years, having also reached the last eight last season, and their task on paper at least looks easier than last year's. In 2018 they were beaten by Manchester United whereas this year a trip to Championship Millwall beckons. Seagulls boss Chris Hughton has a special affiliation with the FA Cup, having been in the Tottenham side that won it back-to-back in 1981 and 1982 and he would love to lead his current club out at Wembley.

Can Ole's magic run continue?

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer won the FA Cup twice as a United player
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer won the FA Cup twice as a United player (Martin Rickett/PA)

If Manchester United get to the last four of the FA Cup then they will have had to do it the hard way. After seeing off Reading in the third round they were handed consecutive away ties at Arsenal and Chelsea, which they passed with flying colours. That set up a visit to Wolves, who have enjoyed playing the big teams in the Premier League this season. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who won this competition twice with United as a player, will be eyeing this as a very good chance to mark his caretaker spell with a trip to the national stadium. Wolves, though, will be a tough test as they are eyeing a first semi-final since 1998.

Can Watford get revenge?

Watford's clash with Crystal Palace is a repeat of the semi-final three years ago, which Palace won before going on to lose the final against Manchester United. Palace triumphed 2-1 on that day at Wembley, but the Hornets' superior league form – they won both games this season – and home advantage might make them favourites in just their fourth quarter-final in 31 years.

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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool31237170185276
2Manchester CityMan City30242479215874
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs30201957322561
4Arsenal30186663392460
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd30177658401858
6Chelsea30176750331757
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves30128103836244
8Watford30127114244-243
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham31126134146-542
10Leicester CityLeicester31125144043-341
11Everton31117134342140
12Bournemouth31115154356-1338
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle3198143140-935
14Crystal Palace3096153641-533
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2996143242-1033
16Southampton3079143450-1630
17Burnley3186173559-2430
18Cardiff CityCardiff3084182757-3028
19Fulham3145222970-4117
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield3135231857-3914

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