Football / Preview / Fa Cup Fifth Round

FA Cup: Fifth Round

Analysis of all of the Fifth Round FA Cup ties taking place this weekend, including League Two's Notts County's trip to Craven Cottage.

Fulham's Bobby Zamora

All Premier League ties:- Man City v Stoke, Bolton v Spurs

Home teams have lost relatively few all Premier League ties at this stage of the competition – W27-D21-L11 and when the home team has enjoyed ranking superiority, they’ve lost only three of the 29 played in the Premier league era. However, the home side have drawn almost as many as won (W14-D12-L3), so Stoke may well take Man City back to the Britannia Stadium. Another feature of these matches is that they’ve been relatively low scoring with 18/29 featuring fewer than three goals.

Lesser ranked home teams, as Bolton are against Spurs, are as likely to win as superior ranked teams at home but have a higher loss percentage – W7-D3-L4. But these games are more likely to have goals as 10/14 have had three or more goals and only 3/14 have been level at half-time.

This is only the fourth time that Man City (1.50) have been at home at this stage of the competition, most recently three years ago when they progressed at the expense of Aston Villa. They’ve lost only three of their 11 all Prem ties when at home and won 6/11 including three of the four they’ve played since 2005/06. This is only the third time in the Premier League era that Stoke (8.5) have made it to round five and on both occasions they lost to top flight opposition which is what they’ve done in 2/3 such trips in earlier rounds. In fact, they’ve lost six of their last eight away ties against any opposition type.   

Bolton’s (3.75) home record in all Premier League ties is distinctly patchy – W2-D3-L2 – and all seven matches featured fewer than three goals and five finished -1.5. Spurs (2.20) have a pretty similar level return of results when away in all Prem matches – W7-D7-L8 – and likewise when travelling as the higher ranked team – W3-D3-L3. In contrast to Bolton, the majority of their games have been high scoring with 14/22 +2.5 goals which includes four of their last five. 


Premier League v Championship:- Chelsea v Cardiff

Premier League sides have a W21-D10-L5 record at this stage of the competition when hosting a Championship side and there have only ever been five such ties when the home team have been ranked as Chelsea are in the top-10. The record of those five matches (W3-D1-L1) suggests that it may not be as easy for Chelsea as some may think.  Irrespective of rank, six of the ten ties played in the past five seasons have been drawn.

At any stage of the competition, Chelsea (1.20) have a faultless home record against Championship sides winning all nine and conceding only twice. 7/9 have been won by two goals or more and 6/9 have been W/W. Cardiff (17) have travelled to a Premier League side only twice. They beat Middlesbrough two years ago and lost at Arsenal in 2006.


Championship v Premier League:- Crystal Palace v Aston Villa, Derby V Birmingham

Championship sides have only won two of the 26 home ties they’ve played against Premier League sides at this stage of the competition (excluding replays) and have lost 14/26. Over the past five years, they’ve drawn four of 10 with four of the six losses by two or more and only 3/10 featuring +2.5 goals. 11 of the last 13 ties have been level at half-time.

Crystal Palace (5) have only hosted four Premier league teams – W1-D2-L1 – and none for seven years. Aston Villa (1.83) have won five of their nine visits to Championship grounds (lost two) but last year could only draw at Doncaster.


Premier League v League Two:- Fulham v Notts County

This is the first such fifth round tie in the Premier League era but at any stage of the competition, Premier League sides have won 29/34 when hosting League 2 teams with 15 won by two or more goals and 18 W/W. 24 of the 34 ties have had +2.5 goals and 15 four or more. Notts County’s win at the JJB in the round four was only the third such victory for a League Two team and the first in a replay.

One of the three Premier League losses was at Craven Cottage three years ago. That’s the only loss Fulham (1.53) have suffered at home to a lower league team in 12 such matches but four have been tied and only two of the seven wins have been by more than goal. Prior to the win against Wigan, Notts County (8) had lost three of their four away visits to top flight teams and all three by two goals or more.


Championship v Championship:- Reading v West Brom

All Championship ties in the fifth round heavily favour the home team as they’ve won seven of the 11 played and five of the last six. Only three of the ties have had more than a couple of goals, despite only four being level at the break.

Reading (2.80) have yet to win an all Championship tie having lost six of the nine played and three of the four they’ve hosted. But those four matches did all pre-date their spell in the top flight and they did beat Burnley three years ago as a Premier league side. West Brom (2.63) have visited six Championship teams in the past five years and lost just once which was last year at Turf Moor. Otherwise they’ve won three and drawn two. Four of the six ties have been +2.5 goals.


League 1 v Premier League:- Southampton v Portsmouth

There have been only four such previous ties in the fifth round and the hosts have lost only one of those which was five years ago when Southampton won at Brentford. In previous Cup previews, we’ve mentioned how successful League 1 sides have been compared to Championship sides when hosting top flight teams. They’ve won 33% (excluding replays) and drawn 30% and only nine of the 16 losses have been by more than a goal.

This is the seventh time Southampton (3.00) have played at St Mary’s since their demotion from the top flight and they’ve won five of the six but only one of those was against a Premier League team (lost to Man Utd). But two were Championship sides and that’s surely where Portsmouth (2.63) are destined should they survive their current woes. Pompey have won four of their seven away ties as a Premier league side (all 1-0) but did lose an all Prem tie at St Mary’s five years ago. Since 1990, Southampton have won all five matches in any competition that these two have played at St Mary’s.

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