FA Cup, Premier League and more: 10 things to look out for this weekend

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Millwall and Lincoln are currently under feeling for the purposes of the upsets, Jos Mourinho has a tactical teaser at Chelsea and Rangers at risk of Old Firm derby embarrassment

1) Millwall the happiest of underdogs under hero Harris

The FA Cup quarter-final at Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday is a fitting route for Neil Harris to celebrate two years in charge of the club he enjoys. Regardless of the result, the club have been upwardly mobile under Harris, the fraternities all-time record goalscorer. Harris initially took caretaker charge on 10 March 2015 before assuming the full-time post a month afterward. Their start to this season was tricky at the end of September they had 12 points from 10 games but now Harriss side are merely six points off the automatic publicity places and travel to White Hart Lane on a 17 -match unbeaten operate. It was about having a Millwall team, the 39 -year-old said this week of a club he seemed had lost their identity. That is not inevitably the best players but ones who the fans could identify with. That is not football it is try, passion, operating. While the priority for the Lions is to find a passageway back to the Championship, there is no reason Harriss modern-day Millwall who have already gobbled up and spat out Bournemouth, Watford and Leicester City in this competitor cannot upset another top-flight side. BF

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2) Mourinho faces tactical teaser at the Bridge

Given that Manchester United were hammered 4-0 at Stamford Bridge in the league earlier this season, Jos Mourinho could have done without the one striker who dedicates his team shape, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, being banned for a return there in the FA Cup. He doesnt have a like-for-like substitution; the two most obvious alternatives are to go with Marcus Rashfords pace and youthful exuberance or Wayne Rooneys experience and industry. Neither can play the hold-up role that might have been so useful against a team that can overwhelm when in possession. It may be that Mourinho is tempted to match Chelseas 3-4-3 Antonio Valencia would be more than capable as a right wing-back and Luke Shaw has the attacking attributes, if not perhaps the staman, to play that post on the left. The peril in doing this is that since the defensive fright reveal at Chelsea in October, Uniteds back four have become a supremely stingy division and have not confessed more than one objective in any league play. Mourinho, so often a master of defensive solidity, will want to showcase his prowess in this department on a return to the scene of his shame in the league last year. Chelsea, engaging the double, may be in for a frustrating Monday evening.< strong> GB

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Marcus
Marcus Rashford scores for Manchester United at Blackburn in the fifth round. Will Jos Mourinho opt for his pace up front at Chelsea? Photo: Oli Scarff/ AFP/ Getty Images

3) In-form Lincoln loom for Arsenal

Perhaps Arsenal, vulnerable as they are at present, should just be grateful that Lee Angol, a Tottenham academy graduate, is ineligible for Lincoln Citys trip to the Emirates. At the same period as Arsenal were being carved open by Bayern Munich, Angol, on loan from Peterborough United, scored a hat-trick as Lincoln limbered up for the most difficult play in its own history by breezing past Braintree Town 4-0. Angol, described by the Lincoln manager, Danny Cowley, as like an iPhone 7 because he can do a bit of everything, is a possibility cup-tied for the Imps FA Cup quarter-final in northern London having played for his parent club earlier in the competitor but the International league for human rights presidents at least arrive both bang in form and full of confidence. We wanted to earn the right to look forward to playing Arsenal and now we can do that, Cowley mentioned after Tuesdays win. We arent going there for a day out if you want a day out you go to a zoo or a theme park. BF

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Arsenal v Lincoln City: Can the non-league side springtime another FA Cup upset? video

4) Could Bamford hold key for Boro against City ?

In a strange route, site visits of Manchester City in the FA Cup is just the respite Middlesbrough could do with. Leaking purposes frequently in the Premier League and failing to pinch points off those around them at the bottom, Boro will at least find City furnishing a different test. The other issue has been putting the ball in the net, with Boro blunt in onslaught, having failed to score in their past four league games. On home turf, Aitor Karankas side ought to be able to let loose a little. They put up a fight to earn a point away at City in November and the last period they met in this competitor two years ago, Boro won 2-0. Patrick Bamford scored the opener that day. The striker re-signed for 6m in January but his only start since came in the fourth-round win against Accrington Stanley. Karanka said it was one of the four chances the striker has been given to impress. If he is given a fifth this weekend, perhaps alongside Rudy Gestede or lvaro Negredo, you get the feeling he might just take it this time around. BF

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5) Liverpool to stop being predictable

You can get odds of up to 14 -1 against Burnley thumping Liverpool at Anfield, which at first glance seems faintly ludicrous devoted how Jrgen Klopps side were beaten at Turf Moor in August and have been so incredibly poor against lower-ranking opposition this year. Liverpool have become renowned for thumping the top sides and falling flat in games they are fully expected to win. There are a couple of big factors Liverpool have going in their favor against this weekends guests, nonetheless. Burnley have been so good at home this season that they are not fighting for their lives like Liverpools recent conquerors, Swansea City, Hull City and Leicester City. And, perhaps more tellingly, Sean Dyches side havent won a Premier League away play all season. Allied to this, Sadio Man and Philippe Coutinho so missed during the course of its respective absences both appear to be returning to the form that made Klopps side so hard to contain in the first six months of the season. Men often underrated creative play-act was pivotal in the impressive 3-1 defeat of Arsenal and his electric pace signifies he is always a threat. If both players continue on their upward trajectory, it could be that Liverpool do what they have not done in the league in 2017 thump a team outside the top six. GB

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Sadio
Sadio Mans return to form offers Liverpool fresh hope. Photo: Andrew Powell/ Liverpool FC via Getty Images

6) West Broms swooning European be available to fade away ?

Tony Puliss side missed a chance to gain ground on Everton last weekend when they amazingly lost 2-0 at home to Crystal Palace, intending they are still four points behind Ronald Koemans side, who sit seventh a position that is likely to grant access to the Europa League. To remain in assertion West Brom will need at least a draw at Goodison Park or, more likely, a victory. Everton have won all four of their home games this year and scored 15 purposes in doing so. West Brom have won only 3 on the road in the league and none of those against a team in the top half of the table. They won this fixture 1-0 last season but Everton have one of the leagues most energetic midfields now, and with Romelu Lukaku in hot pursuit of the Premier Leagues Golden Boot, much-improved West Broms 35 -year “ve been waiting for” European football is likely to become a 36 -year one. GB

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7) Bournemouth need to win ugly battle with Hammers

No man played a bigger part in ensuring Bournemouth a point at Old Trafford last weekend than Artur Boruc. But “its been” the goalkeepers post-match message that will determine their Premier League status go May, starting against West Ham United on Saturday. Thats what we should do every week, whether we have 10 or 11 on the pitch, thats how we should protect, Boruc mentioned. Despite picking up an unlikely draw, Eddie Howes side are merely five points clear of the bottom three. Bournemouth have fought time and again with the aerial menace posed by opposition sides this season. Michail Antonio, who headed a winner at the London Stadium in the reverse fixture in August, will return from a one-match forbidding, while Andy Carroll is again set to lead the line. Both will enjoy the prospect of facing a depleted Bournemouth back line, which could see Baily Cargill devoted his full Premier League debut. Watford and Crystal Palace tapped into their more ugly sides to stifle Bournemouth earlier this year, so as against Manchester United, the Cherries will need to dig deep again. BF

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8) Llorente to give Maguire toughest of tests

When these two sides met in January both Paul Clement, at Swansea, and Marco Silva, at Hull, were making their managerial prows in front of a sparse KCom Stadium crowd in the FA Cup. Hull won 2-0 and presented the type of passion that led to home success against Bournemouth and Liverpool. Swansea did not show much although they did improve when Fernando Llorente was introduced as a substitute. He has been improving ever since, scoring five in his past six appearances and proving lethal in the penalty region. A master of dealing here aerial balls, Clement has encouraged Swansea to play with variety and run most direct to Llorente when necessary. This means they are getting picked off at the back and in midfield less often than they were. While Silvas Hull have also markedly improved since his arrival, they lack a potent attacking menace and have find relegation challengers Swansea pull six points clear of them. To have any chance of victory at the KCom on Saturday they will need the impressive centre-back Harry Maguire to prove why he is attracting admiring glances from some of the Premier Leagues top six by retaining the in-form Spaniard at bay. GB

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Fernando
Fernando Llorente demonstrates his worth to Swansea with the late winner against Burnley. Photo: James Marsh/ BPI/ Rex/ Shutterstock

9) A potential shame for Rangers ?

Unbeaten since late November and on a 17 -match winning streak in all tournaments, Celtic currently result the Scottish Premiership by 27 points and have scored 23 league purposes more than their nearest challengers, Aberdeen. With 12 purposes in his past six appearances, the striker Moussa Dembl is in preposterously prolific form and continues to fire the bullets provided by Scott Sinclair, James Forrest and Patrick Roberts. Comparatively impoverished in terms of wealth and flair, Rangers have already lost three times against their rivals this season and appeared to be going into Sundays Old Firm derby at Celtic Park in a state of turmoil. At least Pedro Caixinha now looks like being installed as director next week. With Celtics coronation as champions a formality, Rangers will at least is expected to be do their bit to defer the inevitable. With Brendan Rodgerss team in such invincible form, it seems unlikely. A potential shame looks on the cards for rudderless, potless Rangers. BG

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10) Dark horses Huddersfield intent on spoiling party

The race for automatic publicity may have felt like a formality for weeks but it is far from a foregone conclusion. Huddersfield Town go to Brentford still on the tails of second-place Brighton and Hove Albion, and have a game in hand on Chris Hughtons side. Unfortunately for both Newcastle United and Brighton, the Terriers have no plans to let up yet. Instead, they are fine-tuning things for the final 10 games of a season in which security would probably have been regarded as mission fulfilled. But David Wagners side have filled a spot in the top six nearly all season barring a poor November. Even more daunting is that Wagner has warned that his team have plenty more in the tank. There is a lot more to come from them and I want them to become better still, Wagner mentioned after Tuesdays 1-0 win over Aston Villa. They are greedy and hungry to read and that is what I like. That seemingly innate passion might just yet determine the Terriers leave the biggest surprise until last. BF

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