The Premier League is taking a break this weekend as focus turns its attention to the FA Cup one of the oldest cup competitions in the world. Even though we can’t score points in cup games, how some players perform this weekend can bode well for their form and confidence coming back to Premier League football for next weekend.
Let’s look at some of the players who will try and continue to light up the competition and possibly cause some problems along the way.
Goalkeeper: Adrian- Liverpool
Alisson of course is the main man for Liverpool when it comes to keeping guard in goal for the Reds but Adrian will step in for this game. Adrian has been really impressive when he has had the chance and kept a clean sheet in the last round against a full strength Everton team.
Defender: Kyle Bartley- West Bromwich Albion
Kyle Bartley’s West Bromwich Albion did well in the last round by beating Charlton 1-0 with the defence keeping a clean sheet. They will play West Ham away in the next round and could provide a stern test for the Premier League side who usually struggle in cup games against non top flight teams.
Defender: Isaac Hayden – Newcastle
Isaac Hayden has been in good form for Newcastle lately, and the question will be if manager Steve Bruce selects him for their FA Cup game? The Magpies will be at home to Oxford United and so will be the big favourites to win it and Hayden if he plays could well be part of a defence that keeps a clean sheet.
Defender: Conor Townsend- West Bromwich Albion
Conor Townsend has been one of WBA’s best players this season and is adept at keeping clean sheets. West Ham who the club are playing in the next round are not in great form. Could WBA provide a shock?
Defender: Jordan Orbita- Reading
Jordan Orbita could well be playing in the Premier League soon. He has been impressive for Reading this season and in the last round he scored the winner as the club overcame Blackpool 2-0. Reading will play Cardiff at home in the next round.
Midfielder: Adam Lallana- Liverpool
Adam Lallana is sure to start when Liverpool face Shrewsbury Town away from home. Lallana is a fringe player now at the Reds but does get the nod to start cup games. He was very impressive as Liverpool beat Everton 1-0 in the last round.
Midfielder: Mathieu Smith- Millwall
Mathieu Smith’s future may lie elsewhere than Millwall if he continues to put in good solid performances and the player scored when the London club knocked out Newport County in the last round. He can play as an attacker or just drop down into attacking midfielder and is worth keeping your eye on.
Midfielder: Callum Hudson-Odoi- Chelsea
Another player who can just drop off the strikers. He doesn’t always get regular starts for Chelsea in the league, but he has been picked as first choice for cup matches. He scored a goal in the last round as Chelsea beat Nottingham Forest and he will be tipped to do well when the Blues take on Hull in the 4th round.
Striker: Alexandre Lacazette- Arsenal
Alexandre Lacazette was the hero for Arsenal in the last round against Leeds, and the Gunners will need him to perform when they take on Bournemouth. In part this is because Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be suspended for this game. Lacazette can hopefully provide the front line that Arsenal need.
Striker: Curtis Jones- Liverpool
Who is Curtis Jones? Well a few weeks ago not many people knew outside of Liverpool football club. But Jones a teenager scored the only goal and a cracking one at that to give the Reds a 1-0 win over their local rivals Everton. Now people know who Jones is and surely Jurgen Klopp will give Jones another opportunity to play and shine when they take on Shrewsbury Town in the 4th round?
Striker: Jay Rodriguez- Burnley
Jay Rodriguez scored in the last round as Burnley overcame Peterborough 4-2 in an entertaining game. Burnley will now play Norwich at home and will start as favourites to advance to the next round. Rodriguez has every chance of playing and helping his team.