FA Cup 5th Round: Huddersfield Town v Manchester United – Can Terriers Complete Home Double Over Away Struggling United?
With just sixteen teams remaining in the worlds’ oldest cup competition, you might assume there would be several high-profile games to whet the appetite, however, on this occasion the FA Cup draw yielded just two all-Premier League ties.
Relegation threatened West Brom and Southampton clash in one game at The Hawthorns, while Huddersfield Town host Manchester United on Saturday evening at The John Smiths’ Stadium with a 17:30 kick-off time.
The Terriers have suffered a horrendous run in the Premier League recently, but David Wagner’s side broke their nine-game losing streak with a 4-1 victory over Bournemouth last weekend and that has dragged the Yorkshire club out of the bottom three. Huddersfield booked their last 16 spot at the second attempt after needing extra-time to overcome Birmingham City 4-1 in the Fourth Round.
United by contrast had a serene path to the Fifth Round, as Yeovil were cast aside at Huish Park by a 4-0 score line. Goals from Marcus Rashford, Ander Herrera, Jesse Lingard and Romelu Lukaku gave Jose Mourinho’s side an easy victory. The Red Devils will be looking to reverse their 2-1 defeat at Huddersfield back in October, but United has the confidence of a 2-0 home Premier League win over the Terriers just two weeks ago.
The prices for this fixture are not to dissimilar by comparison from their October meeting as Manchester United are the overwhelming favourites to progress into the last eight of the FA Cup. The Reds can be backed at the best available odds at the time of writing with Unibet and Stan James of 4/9.
A replay for both teams would almost certainly be the result that neither would wish for, but bet365 offer 4/1 on an Old Trafford return fixture, while a second win for the Terriers in the space of four months over United can bet taken with Paddy Power and Boylesports at the top price of 8/1.
I expect both teams to make several changes in relation to their recent Premier League line-ups for Saturday’s game, but United will still have a very strong starting XI due to their vastly superior squad depth. Huddersfield’s priority is obviously geared towards another stay of execution in the Premier League, and for that reason, United are my strong selection to move on in the Cup with a comfortable victory, in spite of having one eye on Champions League commitments next week.
Individual Goal Scorers
In fixtures of this nature where both teams are likely to make several changes to their strongest line-ups, it could prove to be a wise decision to wait until the official team news is announced around one hour before kick-off.
However, we do not have that luxury of hindsight, so, the player who takes my immediate eye to score the opening goal in this contest is Marcus Rashford at the stand-out price of 5/1 with bet365, and Sport Pesa.
The England striker missed the recent league defeat at Newcastle due to a leg injury but is expected to return for the weekend. Rashford started the previous round’s fixture at Yeovil and was the only United scorer in their Premier League trip to Huddersfield, so, Rashford can be backed with some confidence provided he gains starting honours.
Fellow United striker Romelu Lukaku heads the market at 19/5 with Sport Pesa, while recent signing Alexis Sanchez and French international forward, Anthony Martial are both 5/1 shots with bet365. Huddersfield’s first interest comes from strike duo, Laurent Depoitre and Steve Mounie, who can be backed at 10/1 – both with Boylesports. Aaron Mooy is also worth a second look for Huddersfield at a tempting 18/1 with bet365 for a lively outsider.
Other Side Bets
Huddersfield pulled off a major shock earlier in the season by beating Manchester United in the Premier League, but I don’t envisage the same occurrence happening twice. United should win this contest with something to spare, as Huddersfield have most of their energies concentrated towards Premier League safety.
The main bet that takes my eye for this game is United to win without conceding a goal. This bet is available at the best price of 5/4 with Ladbrokes and Boylesports – and rates as a strong selection. Huddersfield are likely to shuffle their attacking options, and their expected lack of cohesion could help United take advantage by keeping the hosts quiet.
Our Correct Score advice for the game is largely unimaginative as we select a 2-0 win for Manchester United. William Hill offer the top price of 6/1 and this dovetails nicely with our previous selection.