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Man City v Liverpool

Monday, 25 August 2014, 20:00

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Liverpool travel to non-league Mansfield, whilst Manchester City and Middlesbrough will be confident of comfortable home wins.

Last Updated: 07/01/13 at 15:06

Roberto Mancini may choose to rest players when facing Watford

Roberto Mancini may choose to rest players when facing Watford

Manchester City and Liverpool after comfortable victories

Liverpool travel to non-league Mansfield, whilst Manchester City and Middlesbrough will be confident of comfortable home wins.

Watford must travel to Manchester City to face a side that has lost just one of their last 40 home league games, and will surely hope that Roberto Mancini plays an inexperienced side. City lost to rivals United at this stage last year when defending the trophy, whilst Watford lost to Tottenham in the third round. Watford will fancy their chances of scoring at Eastlands, with eight goals in their last three games, but City have conceded just three goals in their last six FA Cup matches.

Liverpool travel to Field Mill on Sunday in one of the glamour ties of the round. Mansfield are in good form having lost just one of their last 12 games, and the Stags will be hoping to evoke memories of their League Cup draw against Liverpool in 1970. Daniel Sturridge will hope to make his Reds debut, and has seven goals in his last seven FA Cup starts.

Prior to this campaign, Hastings United had only ever appeared in the FA Cup first round on one occasion. This season, the Arrows have won six ties just to reach this stage. Incredibly, Hastings have won just three league games in the Ryman Premier, whilst Boro have won their last four home games. Middlesbrough suffered a cup upset in 2011 when they lost at Burton Albion in the third round.

82 places separate Macclesfield Town and Cardiff in the Football League ladder as the Championship leaders travel to Moss Rose. Cardiff have lost their last four FA Cup games, whilst Macclesfield have lost just one of their last nine games in the competition. The Silkmen gained a replay with Premier League Bolton at this stage last year, and have already won away at League One Swindon in round one.

Two sides meet at Craven Cottage that are both struggling for form in their respective divisions. Fulham's win against West Brom on New Year's Day was their second in 13 matches, whilst Blackpool have not won in four. Fulham won the corresponding Premier League fixture 3-0 two seasons ago. Much will depend on Martin Jol's decision whether to rest key forwards such as Dimitar Berbatov.

Leyton Orient face a daunting task against a Hull City side that are one of the country's form sides. The Tigers have taken 17 points from their last 21 available and have not conceded a home goal since November. It would be brave to predict a goalfest at the KC Stadium, because Hull have only scored four goals in their last five home games.

An all-Championship affair at Elland Road, and a fixture which Birmingham won in late October thanks to a Leroy Lita goal. Birmingham have struggled since their relegation, and are on a run of two wins in 11 games. Leeds are a dangerous proposition at home at the moment (five consecutive victories), with Luciano Becchio the man in form with six goals in his last six games.

An East Midlands derby at the King Power Stadium, where Burton must fear for a drubbing after seeing Leicester hit Huddersfield for six on New Year's Day. That said, Burton can hope for a repeat of their Capital One Cup shock over Leicester in August, when they ran out 4-2 winners. Burton have conceded three goals in each of their last two away games, to York City and Barnet.

Luton were amongst the pre-season favourites for the Conference title, but inconsistent form (particularly away from home) has seen them sit in fifth place currently. However, manager Paul Buckle will feel that a cup upset is possible given their visitors' recent form. Stale Solbakken is a man under pressure in the Wolves hotseat after overseeing a dismal run following relegation. The Championship club have lost their last three games, including embarrassing home defeats to Ipswich and Peterborough.

Millwall beat Preston 4-0 at home in the Championship last season, and the Lions have lost just one of their last nine home games. Preston are yet to concede in their two FA Cup games this season, and after a poor run have lost just one of seven away games since late October. Millwall reached the fifth round last year, and reached the final eight years ago.

Alex McLeish is looking for his first win as Nottingham Forest manager against an Oldham side that have their own under-pressure boss. Forest's last home victory was on Boxing Day under the stewardship of Sean O'Driscoll, whilst Oldham are now just six points outside the relegation zone in League One after taking one point from 15 available. On-loan Oldham striker Matt Derbyshire will be unavailable to face his parent side.

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Readers' Comments

H

ow are people still backing Arsenal for the title? It's like you're predicting the tide not to come in; Arsenal will finish third or fourth and make the quarter final of the Champions League. It was ever thus.

thefuldutch
F365's Season Predictions

N

othing screams 'Panic!!' when your new manager brings Fellaini on as a sub for your star signing of the summer and within 5 minutes you concede the winner. I know it is only the first game in but I would seriously be sh1**ng myself I was a Man Utd supporter. This has the potential of being very nasty indeed.

stevemelbourne
Now Are You Nervous, Louis?

I

n the words of Pete Townsend, meet the new boss, the same as the old boss. Though I would comment that it's 3 more points than we picked up in the same fixture last year, so that's a 100% improvement.

uncle monty
No Sign That Liverpool Will Lessen Attacking Intent

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