DANNY MURPHY: An FA Cup run could HELP Everton in relegation battle

An FA Cup run could HELP Everton in their relegation fight, Liverpool should have too much for Nottingham Forest and Man City can take advantage of a tiring Southampton… DANNY MURPHY analyses Sunday’s FA Cup quarter-finals

  • There are three FA Cup quarter-final ties to be played on Sunday
  • Everton could be boosted in battle against top flight relegation with a Cup run 
  • Liverpool and Manchester City should be expected to join Chelsea in last four

With a place at Wembley on the line there are three FA Cup quarter-final ties getting underway on Sunday, with teams looking to join Chelsea in the last four.

Sportsmail’s DANNY MURPHY previews all of Sunday’s drama and predicts who will be joining the Blues in the semi-finals following their win at Middlesbrough.

Crystal Palace v Everton (12.30pm, ITV1)

it’s a great opportunity for both teams who haven’t given their fans the chance to visit Wembley much in recent years.

Continuing their Cup run would help Everton in the battle against relegation. It’ll give them a bounce because their fans need something to get excited about beyond survival.

Michael Olise will be key if Crystal Palace are to see off Everton in the FA Cup

If they won a first trophy since 1995 and stayed in the Premier League, it would be a memorable season. Palace have never won a major trophy so their motivation is clear.

I expect a close game. I hope Frank Lampard picks a strong Everton team to build on the momentum of Thursday’s win over Newcastle. But Palace winger Michael Olise can exploit Everton’s weakness at left back. He is elegant on the ball and has a high work-rate out of possession.

Key man: Michael Olise (Crystal Palace)

Danny’s prediction: Crystal Palace 2-1 Everton

Southampton v Manchester City (3pm, BBC1)

Southampton have held Manchester City to two draws this season but a repeat is unlikely. They are running out of steam.

Pep Guardiola can bring in fresh players like Raheem Sterling, Ilkay Gundogan and Gabriel Jesus. It’s a stunning City squad.

I’m sure City fans value the FA Cup because they would love to emulate Manchester United’s treble in 1999. That would change the bragging rights between the clubs.

The fresh legs of Raheem Sterling (right) could help Manchester City blow away Southampton

It’s interesting Guardiola has made fewer substitutions than anyone this season. Most managers constantly rotate but the City boss seems to prefer giving his players a run of games and then completely taking them out for a little period to recharge.

The Champions League will be the priority for City fans, but they will think they can win three trophies.

Key man: Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)

Danny’s prediction: Southampton 0-3 Manchester City

Nottingham Forest v Liverpool (6pm, ITV1)

It’s hard to believe Forest have been out of the Premier League for 23 years. Steve Cooper has done a wonderful job and they are proof a good Cup run can help your league form.

Liverpool will have to be careful not to go the way of Arsenal and Leicester at the City Ground but Jurgen Klopp has built a very strong-minded group. With the international break next, he may select a stronger team than usual.

Roberto Firmino may just have too much for Nottingham Forest to deal with at the City Ground

I think they will have the firepower to avoid a shock. Roberto Firmino made the difference at Arsenal on Wednesday and he will be important. Forest will want to fly into Liverpool but Firmino has the touch and awareness to beat any press.

Djed Spence has been a great story this season. On loan from Middlesbrough, he’s becoming a £25million player at Forest.

Key man: Roberto Firmino (Liverpool)

Danny’s prediction: Nottingham Forest 0-2 Liverpool

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