FA Cup & Premier League predictions: Chris Sutton v Anna & Emily from alt-rock band Friedberg

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Sutton's Predictions

Newcastle knocked Manchester City out of the Carabao Cup earlier this season – so can the Magpies do the double and knock them out of the FA Cup too?

The teams meet again at Etihad Stadium on Saturday, in a quarter-final tie being shown live on BBC One, with holders City looking to keep alive their hopes of a second successive Treble.

BBC Sport football expert Chris Sutton said: “Alexander Isak has got a goal in him for Newcastle, but their problem is going to be at the other end – there is no way you would back them to keep a clean sheet against City.”

Sutton, who has given his verdict on all four quarter-finals, is making predictions for every Premier League game this season against a variety of guests.

For this weekend’s games, he takes on Anna Friedberg and Emily Linden from alt-rock band Friedberg.

Friedberg are named after the home village of their Austrian frontwoman. Their latest track ‘Hello’ is out now and their debut album is set for release in August.

Friedberg
Friedberg are (l-r) Anna Friedberg, Cheryl Pinero, Emily Linden and Laura Williams. The band were formed in 2019 and their single ‘Go Wild’ featured on the Fifa 2020 soundtrack and in BBC show Normal People

Anna was football mad when she was growing up in Austria, and covered the Bundesliga when she worked as a sports journalist in Germany before launching her music career.

“When I was super into football, women’s football wasn’t big yet, so I was watching men’s football,” she told BBC Sport.

“My team was Rapid Vienna. I used to be the biggest fan and read all the books about their history. If you asked me the score of a game in, say, 1942, I could tell you the score and how many goals Franz ‘Bimbo’ Binder had scored – I was completely obsessed.

“I loved playing as well, but there was no girls’ team in my little village so I had to join in with the boys at school.

“It’s very different for girls now – women’s football is more popular all over Europe compared to a few years ago, but especially in England.

“I still play now, of course! I have founded a 5-a-side team in Hackney Wick and bought the shirts for everyone – Emily plays for us too.”

Emily has enjoyed watching the rise of women’s football in the UK in recent years, but feels England’s triumph when they hosted the 2022 European Championship was especially important.

“It was a pivotal moment, holding the tournament here, in front of big crowds,” she explained.

“Now the clubs are playing in big stadiums too – I went to see Arsenal women at the Emirates earlier this season and it was packed. It was amazing and there was such a nice atmosphere as well.

“You see see so many young girls are going to games now, and they’re all just buzzing. We never had that when we were little, and when I was a kid I genuinely never thought women’s football would be as big as this, but everything has changed.

“It feels like there has been kind of a snowball effect, and the game is just getting bigger and bigger.”

While Anna does not support an English team, she is fond of Arsenal because of Austrian goalkeepers past and present – current women’s keeper Manuela Zinsberger, and former men’s shot-stopper Alex Manninger.

Emily is from Leicestershire and lives in London but became a Liverpool fan after falling in love with the Reds during her time studying in the city.

“My dad is not a football man, he is a bikes kind of guy, so I had free rein of who to support,” she explained.

“When I got to Liverpool, loads of my mates were into football because that’s the sort of city it is, and a lot of them were Reds. They got me into it, and now I just love the club and everything it is about.”

Chris Sutton, Anna Friedberg and Emily Linden were speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan.

When? Gap Result Sutton Anna & Emily
SATURDAY, 16 MARCH
Wolves v Coventry 19 x-x 2-1 3-0
Man City v Newcastle 7 x-x 3-1 1-1 HP
SUNDAY, 17 MARCH
Chelsea v Leicester 10 x-x 3-0 1-2
Man Utd v Liverpool 4 x-x 1-3 1-3

Gap = league places separating the two teams.

There are no replays. HP or AP = home or away team win on penalties after extra-time.

When? Result Sutton Anna & Emily
SATURDAY, 16 MARCH
Burnley v Brentford x-x 1-2 0-2
Luton v Nott’m Forest x-x 1-1 2-3
Fulham v Tottenham x-x 2-2 0-2
SUNDAY, 17 MARCH
West Ham v Aston Villa x-x 1-2 2-2

A correct result (picking a win, draw or defeat) is worth 10 points. The exact score earns 40 points.

SUTTON’S PREDICTIONS

PL = Premier League C = Championship
L1 = League One L2 = League Two
NL = non-league r = won after replay
H = Home A = Away

SATURDAY, 16 MARCH

Wolves v Coventry

Wolves v Coventry (FA Cup quarter-final, 12:15 GMT)

Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live.

Who did they beat?
5R: Brighton (PL) H 5R: Maidstone (NL) H
4R: West Brom (C) A 4R: Sheff Wed (C) Hr
3R: Brentford (PL) Hr 3R: Oxford Utd (L1) H

What an opportunity this is for both clubs, with Wembley waiting for the winners.

My old Norwich team-mate Mark Robins has done a brilliant job at Coventry, who he has taken from League Two to within touching distance of the Premier League – they were a penalty shootout away from promotion to the top flight last season, and are only a point off the play-offs this time.

You have got to fancy Wolves here though, and not just because they are at home. They should dominate possession and I’d expect their greater quality to tell in the end.

With the international break next week, there is no reason for Wolves to rest any of their players, and they are not going to get relegated now anyway, so why not go for it?

I doubt many Wolves fans expected a season like this when former manager Julen Lopetegui left three days before their campaign started, and Gary O’Neil came in to take charge.

Now they are ninth in the Premier League and have a chance to reach the FA Cup semi-finals. It’s just phenomenal by O’Neil, and I don’t think their FA Cup run ends here.

Sutton’s prediction: 2-1

Emily: We are going to go with Wolves here. They’ve been pretty solid this season.

Anna & Emily’s prediction: 3-0

Burnley v Brentford

Burnley v Brentford (Premier League, 15:00)

I keep being silly and going for Burnley to get a draw at home, and I keep getting it wrong.

Should I go down the same road here, though? The Clarets will definitely get some chances against Brentford, who are missing a few defenders through injury, but they don’t tend to take them.

The more I think about it, the more I think Brentford will win. They are not in great form but they ended a seven-game winless run when they beat Burnley earlier in the season and I can see something similar happening this time too.

Sutton’s prediction: 1-2

Emily: Brentford are not having a great time of it, especially compared to how well they did last season, but I still think they will win. Maybe Burnley will get a goal though.

Anna: I thought the same, but without Burnley scoring.

Anna & Emily’s prediction: 0-2

Luton v Nottingham Forest

Luton v Nottingham Forest (Premier League, 15:00)

Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live.

There are two results that I feel have really hurt Luton this season – the first was their home defeat to Sheffield United at the start of February, and the other came when they got beaten by Bournemouth on Wednesday night after being 3-0 up.

A victory would have put them above Nottingham Forest in the table, which would have been massive going into this game, but their defeat makes me think they really have to win this one now – even though we won’t know the full picture at the bottom of the table until we find out about Forest’s possible points deduction.

Luton always score – they have found the net in 16 consecutive Premier League games – but they have kept only two clean sheets all season and have got some defensive injuries to contend with at the moment too.

I don’t see them keeping Forest out, and I don’t think Nuno Espirito Santo will be beaten, either. A draw probably is not a bad result for them.

Sutton’s prediction: 1-1

Anna: This is going to be very close, maybe 1-0 to Forest?

Emily: Yes, it’s definitely going to be tight, but I was actually thinking more goals than that, and Luton always seem to score. They are both fighting to stay up so they are going to go for it and I think there will be a winner. From an East Midlands perspective, I’d like Forest to stay up.

Anna & Emily’s prediction: 2-3

Fulham v Tottenham

Fulham v Tottenham (Premier League, 17:30)

Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra

I was wrong when I predicted Tottenham would lose at Aston Villa last week, but at the same time I did say that I would not be surprised if they did leave with the points.

This is another tough game for them, especially because they are without injured defender Micky van de Ven, which is a bit of a blow.

Fulham are always decent at home, and they have already got the better of Spurs at Craven Cottage this season, when they beat them on penalties in the Carabao Cup.

Sutton’s prediction: 2-2

Emily: Tottenham have been doing all right recently.

Anna: Let’s go for another away win.

Anna & Emily’s prediction: 0-2

Man City v Newcastle

Man City v Newcastle (FA Cup quarter-final, 17:30)

Watch live on BBC One and the BBC Sport website. Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live.

Who did they beat?
5R: Luton (PL) A 5R: Blackburn (C) A
4R: Tottenham (PL) A 4R: Fulham (PL) A
3R: Huddersfield (C) H 3R: Sunderland (C) A

Liverpool gave Manchester City a bit of a going over at times in the second half at Anfield last weekend – but I just don’t see Newcastle doing the same to them at the Etihad.

Pep Guardiola always goes strong in the FA Cup and, even with Kevin de Bruyne out injured, City will be hard to stop. I am expecting to see Erling Haaland back on the scoresheet after he bagged five against Luton in the last round.

City are my tip to go and win the FA Cup again this year. They won’t do another Treble though.

Sutton’s prediction: 3-1

Anna: We’re going for a draw here.

Emily: Yes, and City to take it on penalties, unfortunately!

Anna & Emily’s prediction: 1-1 and City to win after extra time and penalties.

Anna & Emily’s tip for the FA Cup: Liverpool

Emily: This is wishful thinking, because we want to win the Premier League too… as well as the Europa League, but it is Klopp’s last season and we need to get these trophies in the bag with the Carabao Cup!

SUNDAY, 17 MARCH

Chelsea v Leicester

Chelsea v Leicester (FA Cup quarter-final, 12:45 GMT)

Watch live on BBC One and the BBC Sport website. Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live.

Who did they beat?
5R: Leeds (C) H 5R: Bournemouth (PL) A
4R: Aston Villa (PL) Ar 4R: Birmingham (C) H
3R: Preston (C) H 3R: Millwall (C) A

I suspect there will still be a massive disappointment at the way Chelsea laid down in extra time of the Carabao Cup final, when they lost to Liverpool’s kids – so the main incentive for them here is to get back to Wembley to put that right.

That’s not the only reason the FA Cup has become very important for the Blues, however. Their Premier League form has actually improved recently, but they are not going to get a Champions League spot, which would have been the aim when it started.

At the moment there is quite a lot of negativity from Chelsea fans towards the club’s owners as well as manager Mauricio Pochettino, and I don’t think that is going to change whatever they do in the league between now and the end of the season.

But they can still finish the season on a high with the FA Cup, where they have a good record in recent seasons – they were runners-up three years running from 2020 to 2022, including their defeat to Leicester in the 2021 final.

Chelsea have got home advantage here and I also just wonder how Leicester manager Enzo Maresca will approach this game. His side are still top of the Championship but they have had a bit of a wobble recently, with only one win in their past five league games.

Maresca’s focus will definitely be on their automatic promotion bid, which will be decided in the nine league games they play between 29 March and 4 May.

They have the international break too of course, but he will be looking further ahead at his side’s run-in, and that might influence his team selection at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea had to battle to see off another high-flying Championship side, Leeds, in the last round but I can see them winning this one pretty comfortably.

Sutton’s prediction: 3-0

Emily: Chelsea are having one this season, after spending all that money.

Anna: Obviously we are not very sorry about that!

Emily: I have to say that even though I am a Liverpool supporter, when Leicester won the Premier League in 2016 I was very proud. It was amazing. We are going to back them here too.

Anna & Emily’s prediction: 1-2

West Ham v Aston Villa

West Ham v Aston Villa (Premier League, 14:00 GMT)

Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra – joins 5 Live after Chelsea v Leicester is finished.

Both these teams are in action in Europe on Thursday, and it is going to be interesting to see how much those ties take out of them – but I still think Aston Villa will win this one.

Villa have more quality than the Hammers, as they showed when they beat them 4-1 in October.

Unai Emery’s side always create chances and, even in their 4-0 defeat against Tottenham last time out, if they had been more clinical then it would have been a very different game.

Sutton’s prediction: 1-2

Emily: West Ham drew at home to Burnley last week, which wasn’t a great result.

Anna: What was the score?

Emily: It was 2-2.

Anna: Ok, let’s do 2-2, too!

Anna & Emily’s prediction: 2-2

Manchester United v Liverpool

Man Utd v Liverpool (FA Cup quarter-final, 15:30 GMT)

Who did they beat?
5R: Nott’m Forest (PL) A 5R: Southampton (C) H
4R: Newport County (L2) A 4R: Norwich (C) H
3R: Wigan (L1) A 3R: Arsenal (PL) A

A friend of mine told me he thought Manchester United would win this tie. I told him not to be so stupid.

United have dug deep and got some good results against Liverpool in recent years – for example, they beat them 2-1 at Old Trafford at the start of last season, when I didn’t give them a chance that day either.

I know United fans might be getting excited about their 0-0 draw at Anfield earlier this season too – with what felt like about 2% possession.

But Liverpool are getting key players like Mohamed Salah back to full fitness and if they turn up and perform like they did in the second half against Manchester City last weekend, then they are going to win – no doubt about it.

There is some good news for United because their striker Rasmus Hojlund is going to be back from injury, and starting the game by all accounts.

That is massive for them and gives them a far greater chance of getting through, but if Liverpool are anywhere near their best they will still have too much for them.

Sutton’s prediction: 1-3

Emily: These FA Cup ties are great for me with Leicester and Liverpool both involved. What a game this is going to be too, against United. These games are so intense!

Anna: What shall we say here?

Emily: Well, obviously Liverpool are going to win. We are absolutely backing them!

Anna: Yes, of course – but by what score?

Emily: Can I go 7-0 again!? What a game that was. It doesn’t matter that this is at Old Trafford, because we will still kick their backsides there anyway! I am thinking 3-1. United might score first, but I reckon Liverpool will come back.

Anna: I thought 3-1 in the end as well, but after Liverpool score first, then United equalise.

Anna & Emily’s prediction: 1-3

Emily on Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and his departure at the end of the season: I am gutted that he is going. He absolutely breathes the city, his heart is with Liverpool and he has been absolutely amazing for the club.

What is funny is that I’ve got loads of Scouse mates and, when Klopp announced he was leaving, one of my friends posted on Instagram, asking if anyone else’s husband was acting like someone has died, because he was crying – and he did not even cry when their kid was born. But yes, of course I am going to miss him. He’s not just a great manager, he’s a great guy as well, and he just embodies the city as well as the club.

How did Sutton do last time?

Sutton got five correct results from 10 games in week 28, including one exact score, for a total of 80 points.

He took on The Zutons frontman Dave McCabe and Better Joy’s Bria Keely – and beat them both.

Dave got six correct results, but with no exact scores, for a total of 60 points, while Bria got two correct results, also with no exact scores, giving her 20 points.

There was one other Premier League game played in midweek.

Bournemouth’s thrilling win over Luton on Wednesday was replayed from week 17, after their original meeting on 16 December was abandoned midway through the second half after Luton captain Tom Lockyer collapsed.

Sutton and his guest from that week, darts player ‘Hollywood’ Chris Dobey picked up 10 points apiece – Dobey thought the Cherries would win 2-0, while Sutton went with a 3-0 scoreline.

That leaves Dobey with a final tally of 80 points, and confirmed Sutton’s win that week, with a score of 100 points.

Anthony Joshua 150
Ross from Twin Atlantic 140
Eddie Hearn 130
CBeebies presenter Rhys Stephenson 120
Barry Can’t Swim 110
Anish Kumar 100
Fabian Edwards, Joelah from 1Xtra, KSI, Midas the Jagaban 90
Jermain Defoe, ‘Hollywood’ Chris Dobey, Songer 80
Chris Sutton 79 (average after 28 weeks)
David Earl, Keke from 1Xtra, Jazzie Zonzolo 70
Dave from The Zutons, Tommy Fury, Joe from Nothing But Thieves, Sam from Twin Atlantic 60
Gabe of Jamie Johnson FC, Ed Leigh, Tash from The Football Academy, Matthew Vaughn, Rick Witter 50
AEW wrestler Claudio Castagnoli. Tom Ogden and Joe Donovan from Blossoms, Declan McKenna, JayO 40
Vigil star Dougray Scott, Felix White 30
Willie J Healey, Bria Keely of Better Joy 20
Suggs, Future Islands frontman Samuel T Herring 10
Chris Sutton 2,210
Guests 1,950

How did you get on?

There were four draws out of the 10 games, and you had picked a winner in each of them. The point that Sheffield United got at Bournemouth must rank as the biggest surprise from those results, because 94% of you thought the Cherries would triumph.

You did not see Tottenham’s victory at Aston Villa coming either, with only 23% of you backing Ange Postecoglou’s side.

That left you with five correct predictions from week 28, but you did pick up an extra point to add your total score thanks to Bournemouth’s comeback win on Wednesday.

1. Guest 6/10
=2. Chris 5/10
=2. You 5/10

*Win, draw, loss prediction based on highest % of vote for each match.

1. You 159/279
2. Chris 152/279
3. Guests 139/279

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