FA Cup Preview and Prediction: Tottenham Hotspur vs Crystal Palace

Competition: FA Cup: Fifth Round – Tottenham Hotspur vs. Crystal Palace

Venue: White Hart Lane – Sunday, February 21 – 15:00 GMT (10:00 ET)

Match Odds: Tottenham Hotspur 8/13 – Draw 14/5 – Crystal Palace 19/4

Match Preview

Tottenham welcome London rivals Crystal Palace to White Hart Lane in an FA Cup clash to savour on Sunday, with a place in the quarter-finals of the competition at stake.

Spurs are enjoying an incredible season and are genuine title contenders at this stage. They have the chance to strengthen their chase for three major trophies with a win here, but there will be question marks over their consistency as a trip to Fiorentina on Thursday may play a factor in Sunday’s performance.

This is a crucial part of the season for Spurs. They are already further in the FA Cup than they managed last year and fans would be forgiven for dreaming of an incredible domestic double.

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A few first team players were benched on Thursday and so we’re expecting changes from Mauricio Pochettino.

Tottenham’s 2016 FA Cup run: 3rd Round: Leicester (H) 2-2 – Leicester (A) 2-0 (replay) – 4th Round: Colchester (A) 4-1

Former Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor will return to White Hart Lane for the first time since leaving with Crystal Palace here. Make what you will of what that means, but we’re expecting emotions to run high.

Palace are struggling for form. They haven’t won in the Premier League since December and have only won once in their last seven. That’s simply not good enough for a side that was threatening the top four earlier in the season.

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They have, however, seemingly been good in the cup and could still qualify for European football if they can reach the final of this year’s FA Cup. They won’t need any more incentive to win on Sunday, though, with a trip to London rivals Spurs enough motivation for the Eagles.

Crystal Palace’s 2016 FA Cup run: 3rd Round: Southampton (A) 2-1 – 4th Round: Stoke City (H) 1-0

Tottenham have already completed a league double over their London rivals this season, with the most recent meeting coming just a month ago. Spurs came from behind to win 3-1 at Selhurst Park, with Dele Alli’s wonder-goal making the difference.

Team News

Tottenham Hotspur are expected to rotate the side that played in Florence on Thursday night, with the highlight changes likely to come at full back as Danny Rose and Kyle Walker are both expected to return. Tom Carroll, Jan Vertonghen and Clinton N’Jie are all out and Hugo Lloris is unlikely to feature as he is battling a minor shoulder injury.

Crystal Palace could see Yannick Bolasie, Joe Ledley and Dwight Gayle all return following minor leg injuries. James McArthur and Jason Puncheon are yet to be given return dates.

Key Points

Tottenham Hotspur’s last five in all competitions: W/W/W/W/D

Crystal Palace’s last five in all competitions: L/W/L/D/L

Key Stat: Spurs have only lost once in their last 14 matches in all competitions.

Key Player: Emmanuel Adebayor – Say what you will about the big Palace striker but he has a habit of proving to be a match-winner in big-game situations and it wouldn’t surprise us if he produces some magic against his former club here. If Palace are to win, he will be the catalyst on Sunday.

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Score Prediction

Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 Crystal Palace – Although Palace have already dispatched of Premier League opposition twice in this year’s FA Cup, we’re not expecting the third outing to be as fortunate. This is a well drilled and talented Tottenham team and it would take something special to beat them on Sunday in the form they’re in.

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FA Cup Preview and Prediction: Derby vs Manchester United

Competition: FA Cup Fourth Round – Derby County vs. Manchester United

Venue: iPro Stadium – Friday, January 29 – 19:55 GMT (14:55 ET) 

Match Odds: Derby 100/30 – Draw 12/5 – Man Utd 19/20

Match Preview

Derby welcome Manchester United to the iPro Stadium on Friday evening as fifth in the Championship play fifth in the Premier League in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Derby have hit a rough patch of form of late, losing three of their last four league games and are now seven points off the top of the Championship table.

They beat Hartlepool United 2-1 in the third round but know that the path to the next round has become a lot trickier with United visiting.

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The Rams are under pressure to get back to winning ways, and doing so in the FA Cup against Premier League giants would be the perfect way to alleviate that pressure.

Manchester United are certainly under pressure too. They are still five points off of fourth in the Premier League and are still not enough of an attacking threat, despite recording a couple of important wins of late.

They lost 1-0 at home to Southampton in their most recent outing and Louis Van Gaal may have to rest some key men for the trip to Derby, as the Red Devils face Stoke at Old Trafford during the midweek league fixtures.

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United go into this game as favourites but a lot will be asked of them, and failure to win will see even more pressure pile on to the club, and particularly the manager.

This will be the first meeting between the two sides since United beat Derby 4-1 in the fifth round of the FA Cup in 2009.

Key Points

Derby’s last five in all competitions: L/W/D/L/L

Manchester United’s last five in all competitions: W/W/D/W/L

Key Stat: Manchester United have won six-straight FA Cup clashes against Derby, the last five of which have come away from home.

Key Player: Marouane Fellaini – The powerful Belgian midfielder is expected to feature against Derby on Friday night and will look to cause the Championship side all kinds of problems with his fine aerial ability.

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Score Prediction

Derby 1-1 Manchester United – This is a tough one to call. Neither side are looking as strong as they should be and so a draw looks to be on the cards. That certainly won’t suit United, who could do without another fixture, but they don’t seem strong enough to go and win this game.

The 2014 MLS Cup guarantees to make history

The team that now goes on to win the 2014 MLS Cup will be making new history in some way or another which only adds to the excitement and intensity we’re all expecting.

Seattle Sounders have had a fantastic season irrelevant of the eventual outcome of their MLS Cup campaign as they scooped the Supporters’ Shield and U.S. Open Cup double.

However, should they manage to seal MLS Cup glory, they will become the first ever team to complete the treble and thereby print their name in the record books, which would be a remarkable achievement and truly cement the fact that they have been the best team this season.

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[Seattle Sounders enjoyed success in this year’s U.S. Open Cup]

LA Galaxy narrowly missed out on the Supporters’ Shield title when they lost 2-0 to Seattle Sounders, but they can focus all their attention on trying to bring home the MLS Cup.

If they go on to win it, they will become the most successful team in the history of the competition with five titles – they are currently tied on four with DC United.

Meanwhile, both New England Revolution and the New York Red Bulls are hunting down their first ever title in this competition.

The Revs are probably the unluckiest team in MLS Cup history having been to four finals and finished on the losing end on every occasion, twice losing 1-0 after extra-time and once losing on penalties.

Title winners since 1996:

MLS HistoryWhatever happens, it promises to be entertaining and will also set new history for one of the clubs.

Who do you think will win the 2014 MLS Cup?