Analysis

Preview: What (definitely) will and won't happen this weekend

Alexis Sanchez

Eight teams are a game away from Wembley in the FA Cup, while Huddersfield and Crystal Palace contest a huge relegation six-pointer in the Premier League

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FA Cup

Swansea vs Tottenham (Saturday, 12.15pm)

The big talking point: How will Tottenham cope without Harry Kane?

What will happen: Of equal curiosity, though, is whether Swansea can continue their good form without Jordan Ayew. The suspended Ghanaian may have his critics, but he's been integral to their good form in 2018 and Swansea will now need to look elsewhere for the outlet he provides at the top of the pitch.

What won't happen: No outright centre-forward for Spurs. Fernando Llorente is the obvious choice to replace Kane but, as Son Heung-min showed against Bournemouth, he is capable of creating all sorts of issues from a false-nine role. Expect him to start.

Manchester United vs Brighton (Saturday, 7.45pm)

The big talking point: The pressure on Jose Mourinho. No real challenge in the Premier League, dumped out of the League Cup by Bristol City and now out of the Champions League; another botched tactical approach here and there'll be trouble.

What will happen: Brighton have focused so much energy on survival that it would be only natural for the standard to drop here. With an international break looming, there's no real reason for Chris Hughton to rotate his side, but mentality is a strange beast. Conversely, this must now be United's sole focus.

What won't happen: Would it be such a surprise if Alexis Sanchez was relegated to the substitutes' bench? He hasn't just been disappointing for his new club, he's been dreadful. Big-money signing or not, there's a cup tie to be won.

Wigan vs Southampton (Sunday, 1.30pm)

The big talking point: Symmetry. Wigan obviously lost their Premier League status while (successfully) chasing the Premier League dream. Could the same fate befall Southampton?

What will happen: Mark Hughes will take charge of his first game as Southampton manager. Again, with an international break up and two weeks until the next Premier League fixture round, there's no need for any rotation; this is a club that needs to remember what it's like to win football games, whatever the competition, so Hughes will go full-strength from the off as he searches for some momentum.

What won't happen: There's a three-horse race at the top of League One and Wigan do have a game next weekend, but this will still be a cup final of sorts for their players. Wembley, after all, is still Wembley. Sometimes, though, teams that produce seismic shocks in one round of the cup can fall foul of an inferior opponent in the next game. Having upended Manchester City so dramatically - so famously - it would be very easy for Wigan to underestimate Southampton. Then again, maybe not? The Latics have already kicked out Bournemouth and West Ham to get this far.

Leicester vs Chelsea (Sunday, 4.30pm)

The big talking point: Still the simmering tensions between Antonio Conte and his board, which are unlikely to have eased since Wednesday night's Champions League exit.

What will happen: Chelsea actually played very well at the Camp Nou, even if the scoreline doesn't suggest it, but there's been a noticeable difference between their domestic and continental performances for a while. By contrast, Leicester are starting to flicker and ended a five-game winless run with a 4-1 rout at West Brom last weekend. Claude Puel's side are beginning to perform cohesively.

What won't happen: No respite for that fragile visiting back-line (and goalkeeper). Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez are showing shades of their title-winning form, and that combination should take Leicester through to Wembley.