Mark Hughes’ first match as Southampton boss is a tricky FA Cup quarter-final clash at League One side Wigan Athletic and it may prove to be another banana skin for the Welshman.
Hughes was axed by Stoke City in January after the Potters had been dumped out of the competition by League Two side Coventry City and, with Saints involved in a battle to avoid the drop, defeat to the Latics on Sunday may prove to be a blessing in disguise.
Wigan are second in League One and have only conceded nine goals in 18 home games this term. They have already knocked out Bournemouth, West Ham and, incredibly, Manchester City, and are 53/20 to make it four Premier League scalps by beating Southampton.
Jose Mourinho will be desperate for a victory against Brighton as he attempts to silence his critics who were to the fore on Tuesday after Manchester United had been beaten by Sevilla in the Champions League at Old Trafford.
United were slammed for their cautious approach but Mourinho’s side may well have to be patient when they take on a Seagulls outfit that have been defensively obdurate this season under the guidance of the wily Chris Hughton.
It may not be pretty, but United could edge home by a one-goal margin at 47/20, with Marcus Rashford 9/2 to score the first goal in the match – a repeat of the 1983 FA Cup final United won 4-0 in a replay.
Tottenham, who have only lost two of their last 24 matches in all competitions, have been taken to replays by Newport County and Rochdale in the last two rounds, but they should be too strong for Swansea City.
Carlos Carvalhal has fielded weakened sides in previous rounds and may well do the same again this weekend, so odds of 21/4 on Spurs repeating their 2-0 victory at the Liberty Stadium in January in the Premier League should not be ignored.
Chelsea played well at Barcelona in midweek, despite eventually losing 3-0, and will now be focused on winning their eighth FA Cup and fifth in the last 12 years.
Their last triumph was six years ago and they can get the better of Leicester City. Marcos Alonso is 11/1 to score the first goal at the King Power Stadium.
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