January 4, 2019

FA Cup Match Previews – 6th January Sunday

Man City v Rotherham

Rotherham will travel to the Etihad Stadium on Sunday to take on Manchester City for their FA Cup clash. Man City last played against Rotherham back in March 2002 when the two teams shared a 1-1 draw at Millmoor. Pep Guardiola’s side had encountered some troubles recently and lost some ground in the Premier League title race with leader Liverpool. City will definitely be looking forwarding in coming out victorious in this fixture in order to claim some points along the way.

Manchester City is back in the race for the Premier League crown following their 2-1 victory against Liverpool on Thursday. They are now at the 2nd spot in the table, just 4 points behind Liverpool. City will be looking to return to their winning ways since this could be a somewhat easier fixture for them due to the fact that the visitors are a team that is almost at the relegation zone. Moreover, City won nine of their previous ten home fixtures. The reigning Premier League champions just might comfortably win in this match, also considering the home turf advantage.

In the meantime, Rotherham were able to achieve their fair share of success, temporary it may be, in the Championship fixtures. When they managed to win against Preston, they now stand just one point in detaching from their relegation-team status. Rotherham is currently at the 21st position in the standings, winning 5 and losing 11 in 26 matches played. The visitors will be going into this match without midfielder Ryan Manning who has been recalled by QPR midway through the season for a year-long loan spell.

Newport v Leicester

Newport County enjoyed quite a good run in the FA Cup last season and will be looking forward once again to rise to the occasion as they host Leicester in this season’s third round of the FA Cup. However, Newport’s form lately is seemingly suffering as they were defeated, 1-0, by Stevenage despite the latter being reduced to 10 men in the first half of the game.

Newport currently hold a record of 1 win, 3 draws, and 4 defeats in their previous 8 outings. Their only win was during their thrashing of Wrexham in the FA Cup. On Sunday, they will be facing a much more challenging opponent in the likes of Leicester City. Newport are currently struggling in the League Two recently, however, they are placed at the 12th position in the table with 15 points adrift the top of the table and leaders Lincoln City.

Unfortunately for Newport, the visitors will be travelling to Rodney Parade in a good run of form. Leicester started the New Year right by winning against Everton in a 1-0 away fixture on Tuesday afternoon following their unexpected loss at the hands of Cardiff City to improve their record to 3 wins from their previous 4 outings. The Foxes only lost 3 of their last 14 fixtures this season which can be caused by their defensive stability at the moment. Moreover, they conceded only 9 goals in these 4 matches, which is a massive development from Leicester.

Although Newport County usually employ their attacking approach, it seems impossible for them to risk doing the same against a Premier League opponent. However, Leicester’s record in cup competition also indicates that this match could be a cautious encounter. 10 of the Foxes’ previous 14 domestic cup ties have seen less than 3 goals, including all of their 3 Carabao Cup fixtures this season and all but 1 of their previous 6 FA Cup matches.

Fulham v Oldham

Oldham Athletic will be travelling to Craven Cottage on Sunday to take on Premier League side Fulham for their FA Cup clash. Oldham have been improving well ever since the sacking of manager Frankie Bunn and could be quite a challenge for the Cottagers. These two teams have only met once in a previous FA Cup match when Fulham won in a 0-2 away fixture in the 1982-83 season and in the third round as well.

Peter Wild is currently handling Oldham and the team certainly bounced back under his care, winning their recent two matches against Port Vale, 4-1, and Notts County, 2-0. They also lost just thrice in away fixtures in the League Two so far this season. Their development this season could definitely give them a chance in coming out victorious against Fulham, who are on the brink of relegation in the Premier League table.

In the meantime, it’s been a disappointing run for Fulham in the English top flight his season as they are on the verge of falling into the drop zone. They will come into this match having been defeated in a 4-1 fixture and they definitely need a win against the League Two side to survive. Although the Cottagers are struggling in the Premier League, they recently netted several goals at home against Huddersfield.

If the Cottagers can deliver a similar run on Sunday’s match against Oldham, there’s a chance for them to come out successful. It is also important to note that even though Oldham managed to deliver some reasonably defensive performances in the League Two, they also encountered quite a few shockers such as when they conceded six away goals in their match against Carlisle, and three against Stevenage.

By @EliaasMJ

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