Miller's F.A. Cup picks: Chelsea v Luton Town, Manchester United v Liverpool, & Everton v Sheffield Wednesday
Hated rivals play for second time in a week, this time in F.A. Cup Fourth Round
I do not want to hear about your Rangers-Celtic, Porto-Benfica, or Ajax Feyenoord rivalries: there is one that goes above and beyond, inspiring hatred, contempt, and 150 years of violence.
And we get a second one in a week: Manchester United-Liverpool.
I can tell you first hand, I HATE Liverpool. I can respect what the team has done of late, but that is it. And I don’t even live there: imagine what those games were like in the 1970s.
You Tomorrow, in the F.A. Cup Fourth Round, the two teams will renew “acquaintances” after a 0-0 draw in the Premier League last weekend kept United at the top of the table. But this game is going to be very different.
It is going to be very intriguing to see what lineup Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Jurgen Klopp put out here. United has more depth right now, which is amazing thinking about the last few years. Klopp could go for it here, but he is in a bit of a quandary right now. Thursday, then a really tricky test back in London Sunday against West Ham United. With Manchester City facing West Brom Tuesday, and United hosting Sheffield United Wednesday (the bottom two teams ), Liverpool could be eight and nine points behind before it takes the field against Jose Mourinho’s team.
You could look at it two ways: Klopp could go for it in the league with a tired, depleted team that has not scored in the league since December 27, and has now gone 438 minutes (plus stoppage time) scoreless. Or, he could bin off the league, and try to win another cup to put in the case. We will know around 11 a.m. Sunday which one he prefers. The winner gets West Ham in the two weeks.
My guy Paul Hirst (go give him a follow ) will have at least one eye on the Everton Sheffield Wednesday match after Manchester United-Liverpool ends, hoping his fighting Owls can claw something from this tough game.
But I don’t see it: the Toffees could be headed for a top four finish, and a possible showdown (in the league and in the F.A. Cup Fifth Round) with Tottenham.
In the early game, if Chelsea can’t beat Luton Town by three goals with his reserves, which the club paid half a billion for, then Frank Lampard might have coached his last game at the club.
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ENGLAND F.A. CUP FOURTH ROUND
Chelsea (-715) vs. Luton Town (+1700), draw (+700), 7 a.m. EST (ESPN+)
Manchester United (+150) vs. Liverpool (+163), draw (+265), 12 p.m. EST (ESPN+)
Everton (-286) vs. Sheffield Wednesday (+800), draw (+400), 3 p.m. EST (ESPN+)
Chelsea -2.25 AH (-105)
Che/Lut over goals 3.25 AH (-112)
Manchester United over 1.5 goals (+120)
Everton -1.5 (+105)
Eve/She over 2.75 goals (-120)