Man United will keep a clean sheet, but Liverpool and Tottenham won’t, judging by these Opta stats…
Bradford v Reading (Saturday, 12:45, BT Sport 1)
Jon Stead has scored in five of his last six FA Cup matches
Occasionally players find magnificent form in the FA Cup that evades them in all other competitions. Last season, Matty Fryatt blasted Hull to the final with four goals in five appearances yet never made a Premier League start. This term, it is former top-flight forward Stead transformed by the FA Cup, netting in each of the past three rounds against sides from higher divisions while firing eight straight League One blanks.
Recommended Bet: Back Stead to score @ 3.39/4
QPR v Tottenham (Saturday, 15:00)
Spurs have kept just one clean sheet in their last 11 Premier League away matches
The weekend’s sole Premier League fixture is likely to be high on goals, with Tottenham shutting out only one of their 13 domestic hosts since a 1-0 opening-day victory at West Ham. They notched in every encounter in that sequence bar one at leaders Chelsea though, and QPR have been breached in all 15 of their meetings with top-half teams, so there is little danger of Spurs being silenced either.
Recommended Bet: Back both teams to score @ 1.824/5
Liverpool v Blackburn (Sunday, 16:00, BT Sport 1)
Liverpool have kept only three clean sheets in their last 20 FA Cup games
The Reds have discovered uncharacteristic defensive poise in the Premier League recently, keeping six clean sheets in eight, but that hasn’t carried over to the FA Cup, where AFC Wimbledon, Bolton and Crystal Palace have all fired past them. Blackburn have become more prolific in the FA Cup as the calibre of foe has risen, scoring two past Charlton, three past Swansea and then four past Stoke.
Recommended Bet: Back Liverpool not to keep a clean sheet @ 2.021/1
Man United v Arsenal (Monday, 19:45, BBC One)
Man United have kept a clean sheet in each of their last four FA Cup games against Arsenal
As fortuitous as Man United’s wins over Sunderland and Newcastle were, there was a huge positive in it being the first time that they have shut out successive Premier League opponents since mid-September. Arsenal have struck just once in three clashes with them post-Sir Alex Ferguson, and that was a 90th-minute consolation at the Emirates. They were hushed on three of their previous five trips to Old Trafford.
Recommended Bet: Back Man United to keep a clean sheet @ 3.613/5