FA Cup Fifth Round Preview

We’ve reached that time of year where I have to split the posts between the League and the FA Cup.

The best scenario for both of the remaining League One clubs is earning a shot at the semi finals – a tall order, but at least they both have home ties this weekend.

AFC Wimbledon v Millwall (tomorrow, 3pm, no TV coverage)

Only other meeting in the FA Cup was just over nine years ago, when Millwall won 4-1 at the New Den and current Lions boss Neil Harris was on the scoresheet. AFC Wimbledon have never beaten Millwall in four previous attempts. Haven’t won at home in League One since Boxing Day and have scored just once in their last four home league games: it’s almost four hours since Joe Pigott scored against Barnsley. Having reached the Fourth Round or better in half of the last ten seasons, Millwall are no mugs when it comes to the FA Cup even though they’ve not won an away tie for almost six years and have recorded just one away win in the Championship this season.

Doncaster v Crystal Palace (Sunday, 4pm, BBC 1)

First meeting in the FA Cup, but the story here is how bad Palace have been at Doncaster over the years. The last time they beat Rovers in South Yorkshire was almost 60 years ago and even though it’s just over seven years since they last met, Doncaster have won four of the last six games against Palace when they’ve had home advantage. Rovers have had a four game home unbeaten streak and have had a relatively straightforward route to this round, although it’s the first time the hosts have played PL opposition since they lost 3-1 to Stoke three years ago.

Verdict: I wouldn’t be surprised of both of these games end all square, but I think there’s more chance of that happening at the Keepmoat Stadium. I also wouldn’t be surprised if Millwall win convincingly.

There are ten league games this weekend: Sky Sports are clearly feeling left out of the FA Cup because there are two televised League One games this weekend: Sunderland v Accrington Stanley this evening (7:45pm Sky Sports Football/Main Event) and Southend v Portsmouth (tomorrow, 12:30, Sky Sports Football/Main Event). None of the remaining matches would have been in the running for game of the week, but there are a couple of interesting ones: Charlton can put more pressure on Portsmouth and Sunderland by beating Blackpool at The Valley, I’ve got a feeling that Luton might not find Fleetwood in the mood to roll over and even though there are sixteen points dividing them, Oxford might fancy their chances against Peterborough.

Back next week, if there are any surprises I’ll update this post over the weekend.