Liverpool continue to be inconsistent in their performances, with last weekend’s 2-0 defeat to West Ham and an earlier 3-0 loss to Watford sandwiching 1-0 victories over Leicester City and Sunderland. Nevertheless, the Reds will be confident of victory against Exeter City, who have lost their last four games on the trot in League Two.
Arsenal have gone clear at the top of the Premier League standings after victories over Bournemouth and Newcastle, and therefore may not consider the FA Cup to be a priority when they square up to Sunderland. The Black Cats are still in the relegation zone after enduring a five-match losing streak that was ended last weekend with a 3-1 win over Aston Villa, the only team below them in the standings. The Gunners have won five of their last six, and if they don’t rest too many important players they have the momentum to cruise past their struggling opposition.
Manchester City have had to fight for their points in recent weeks, with a tightly contested goalless draw with Leicester followed by a come-from-behind victory over Watford at the weekend. Their Cup opponents, Norwich City, have also hit a bit of form lately, with wins over Manchester United, Aston Villa, and Southampton either side of a 3-0 defeat to Tottenham. The Canaries were beaten by City earlier in the campaign, but that 2-1 loss was hardly discouraging and will give them hope of an upset.
One recent result sticks out for Southampton: They have lost six of their last eight games, drawing with rock-bottom Villa, but thumped Arsenal a couple of weeks ago, recording a 4-0 victory over the league leaders. Ronald Koeman will be looking for another game like that against Crystal Palace, who beat them 1-0 as recently as last month, but the Eagles haven’t scored once in their last three games, earning them draws with Bournemouth and Swansea before Chelsea put three past them at the weekend.
The goals have dried up recently for Leicester, who have failed to score in their last three games, including a 1-0 loss to Liverpool and draws with Manchester City and Bournemouth. That’s good news for Spurs, who won three in a row against Southampton, Norwich, and Watford before being held to a respectable 1-1 draw with Everton at the weekend.