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Dublin: 15 °C Friday 1 August, 2014

Premier League/FA Cup previews: how to fill out your weekend football accumulator

We’ve got five league fixtures plus the FA Cup quarter-finals to look ahead to.

Fernando Torres pokes Spurs defender Jan Vertonghen back in September.
Fernando Torres pokes Spurs defender Jan Vertonghen back in September.
Image: EMPICS Sport

All games kick-off at 3pm unless stated otherwise

Premier League

West Brom v Manchester United (12.45pm)

WHEN THESE TWO sides met back in September Saido Berahino scored the winner to hand David Moyes his first big set-back of the season while Alex Ferguson’s last home game produced a crazy 5-5 draw last year.

The Baggies have since appointed Pepe Mel but sit just a point above the drop zone thanks to a record of four draws and two defeats under the Spaniard.

United went down to Olympiakos in their last fixture and badly need a confidence-booster ahead of next week’s clash with Liverpool followed by the second leg against the Greeks.

Bet: Draw @ 13/5

Cardiff City v Fulham

19th take on 20th at the City of Cardiff Stadium in a good old-fashioned relegation six-pointer.

Both Cardiff and Fulham need miracles to get out of their respective predicaments as the three teams above them all have games in-hand so defeat could effectively seal the fate of either Ole Gunnar Solskjaer or Felix Magath — both of whom are only in the job a short time.

Bet: Draw @ 23/10

Crystal Palace v Southampton

Ninth-placed Southampton travel to Selhurst Park eager to bring a halt to their three-game losing streak.

Under Tony Pulis, Crystal Palace have shown the type of form which suggests they have enough to survive and are separated from the bottom three by a three-point advantage.

The Saints earned a 2-0 victory when the teams last faced off but it’s slightly harder to call six months on.

Bet: Southampton @ 6/5

Norwich City v Stoke City

The Canaries entertain Stoke with Chris Hughton once again under pressure after they suffered a 4-1 loss at the hands of Aston Villa last weekend.

Funnily enough, they had picked up a rare three points against Hughton’s old side Spurs the previous week but were second best at Villa Park as Christian Benteke bagged a couple.

Stoke come to town buoyed by the victory over Arsenal but it’s their form on the road which has left a lot to be desired this season.

Bet: Draw @ 9/4

Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur (17.30pm)

There’s a London derby at Stamford Bridge with league leaders Cheslea hosting Spurs at Stamford Bridge in the late kick-off.

The Blues have the chance to widen the four-point gap at the top as they are the only team from the top four in league action this weekend with Arsenal and Man City occupied with FA Cup quarter-finals and Liverpool not in action.

Tottenham have the best away record in the Premier League this season but haven’t won at the Bridge in 23 league meetings.

Bet: Chelsea @ 3/5

FA Cup

Arsenal v Everton (12.45)

The first quarter-final of the weekend sees Arsenal and Everton meet at the Emirates with Arsene Wenger well aware that defeat will leave the Gunners with a slim hope of claiming silverware this season.

Jack Wilshere has been ruled out for the next six weeks after fracturing his foot but January signing Kim Kallstrom could feature with the Gunners having one eye on Tuesday’s Champions League tie with Bayern Munich.

Roberto Martinez lifted the trophy last year with Wigan and believes they might be catching Arsenal at the right time after they lost out to Stoke last time out.

Bet: Arsenal @ 17/20

Sunday

Sheffield United v Charlton Athletic (12pm)

Sheffield United are flying the flag for League One as the lowest-placed team left in the cup.

The Blades, currently tenth in England’s third tier, were drawn with Chartlon Athletic who could be joining them next season as they currently lie in the Championship’s relegation zone.

Nigel Clough’s men have already knocked out Aston Villa, Fulham and Nottingham Forest so should have nothing to fear from playing a club one division higher than them.

Bet: Sheffield United @ 13/10

Hull City v Sunderland (2pm)

Steve Bruce takes on his old club as Sunderland visit the KC Stadium.

Both teams come into the game on the back of league defeats but the Tigers will be confident of getting a result considering they have already done a league double over the Black Cats this season.

They may be still fighting survival but Sunderland are 90 minutes away from their second appearance at Wembley after last weekend’s Capital One Cup final.

Bet: Hull @ 6/5

Manchester City v Wigan Athletic (4.05pm)

The Etihad hosts a repeat of the 2013 FA Cup final, which resulted in a surprise win for Wigan — who were also relegated under Roberto Martinez.

Current holders Wigan are pushing for promotion back to the Premier League under Uwe Rosler, the former German striker who spent four years with City during the mid-90s and should receive a warm reception upon his return.

It’s hard to look past the gulf in class and City should comfortably book their spot in the last four.

Bet: Man City @ 1/6

Accumulator

A successful €10.00 accumulator will pick you up a cool €14,842. Not to be sniffed at!

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