FA Cup Preview: disgruntlement at Ipswich

fa cupIpswich Town fans are growing weary of the long ball football under Mick McCarthy, so National League leaders Lincoln hope to take advantage. Elsewhere in the FA Cup, Millwall hope to continue their impressive run against Bournemouth while Hull and Swansea face each other in a meeting of two top flight strugglers.

Hull v Swansea

Conceded over 40 goals, just changed their manager for the second time since the end of last season, fans unhappy with the owners, in the bottom two of the Premier League… both Hull and Swansea have much in common but little of that is positive. The one trait they do share is their proficiency at set pieces. The two teams have scored 15 goals from dead balls between them, making them the sixth and seventh highest scoring teams in that department. In a match between two poor teams for their level, a moment of specialism from Robert Snodgrass or Gylfi Sigurdsson could be the difference. 1-2

Ipswich v Lincoln

Mick McCarthy’s disregard for cup competitions is one of the growing number of gripes Ipswich Town fans have with the Yorkshireman. His side lost to lower league opposition in Stevenage earlier in the season and Portsmouth last term. Lincoln knocked out League One side Oldham in the Second Round and are top of the National League. Matt Rhead provides power up top while Nathan Arnold adds flair out wide, meaning the Imps have scored 55 league goals. Admittedly three divisions above, Ipswich have netted less than half of that tally. 1-1

Millwall v Bournemouth

This was a league fixture played almost exactly two years ago, when Bournemouth won 2-0, letting their hosts have no shots on target. From that starting eleven, just Sid Nelson and Nadjim Abdou have since survived the post-relegation cull at the Den. Only three of Bournemouth’s starters have left, such is Eddie Howe’s belief in stability and tactical consistency. That belief though does not extend to cup competitions – the 39-year-old made seven changes for a Fifth Round tie with Everton last term. Millwall have won 12 of their last 18 in all forms and have already beaten a second string Premier League side in West Brom this season. Expect them to test the keeper this time around. 3-2

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