Top level league action takes a break this weekend as we head into the fourth round of the FA Cup. Here’s a preview of some of the matches.
Arsenal v Coventry City (Friday)
Following a turbulent few years for the Sky Blues, Coventry City fans are finally being rewarded with a creditable first half of the league season and will today play the country’s best side at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal are riding high at the top of the Premier League and Arsene Wenger will field a fairly strong side with a good run in the cup on the cards. Nicholas Bendtner could return to the Gunners’ line-up following a sprained ankle whilst Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is also in line for a recall.
Stephen Pressley says he expects Leon Clarke to play despite the striker handing in a transfer request earlier this week but Callum Wilson is ruled out with a shoulder injury.
This match is live on BT Sport 1 from 7:45pm.
Bournemouth v Liverpool (Saturday)
The lunchtime game on Saturday sees Championship side Bournemouth host seven-times FA Cup winners Liverpool.
The hosts currently sit 16th in the second tier but have only one win from their last five matches and boss Eddie Howe doesn’t have any fresh injury concerns.
Liverpool have won three of their last four matches and Brendan Rogers will have to deal with the absences of Glen Johnson, Daniel Agger, Jose Enrique and Mamadou Sakho who are all out injured.
This game is live on ITV 1 from 12:45pm.
Stevenage v Everton
Four years ago, Stevenage were still playing non-league football but on Saturday evening they’ll face Premier League giants Everton.
Now in League One, Graham Westley’s side will be hoping to cause a huge upset but they are likely to be without Dean Parrett who’s struggling with a knee injury although winger Filipe Morais is expected to feature despite a recent dead leg.
Seamus Coleman joins an ever-growing injury list for the Toffees with a hamstring issue, along with the likes of Antolin Alcaraz, Ross Barkley and Steven Pienaar.
The sides last met in the Capital One Cup in August where Everton were narrow 2-1 winners at Goodison Park and they are 3/10 favourites with Paddy Power for this meeting. Bet 365 offer the best odds on a Stevenage win at 11/1.
This match is live on BT Sport 1 from 5:30pm.
Sheffield United v Fulham (Sunday)
The first of a double-header on Sunday sees League One strugglers Sheffield United take on Fulham, who are also battling relegation from the Premier League.
The Blades are steeped in history in this competition, having won it on four occasions, but not since 1925. Nigel Clough’s side currently sit 20th in their league and will be without Billy Paynter, Elliott Whitehouse and Callum McFadzean.
Visitors Fulham secured their fourth round spot with a replay win over Norwich City just over a week ago. With a key league match against Swansea City coming up in midweek, Rene Mulenstein is likely to give fringe players such as Elsad Zverotic, Lasse Vigen Christensen and Aaron Hughes a run out.
Catch this game live on BT Sport 1 from 1pm on Sunday.
Chelsea v Stoke City
The final game of the weekend is an all-Premier League clash between Chelsea and Stoke City.
Chelsea go into the match with three straight wins and Demba Ba could feature for the Blues with Fernando Torres out rested whilst Samuel Eto’o could be rested with midweek action around the corner.
Stoke have not won in their last five in the league and defenders Robert Huth and Andy Wilkinson remain sidelined but goalkeeper Asmir Begovic could make his return from a broken finger.
This match is live on ITV 1 from 3:30pm.
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