With Sheffield United entertaining Blackburn Rovers on Sunday lunchtime, there is at least one side from the Championship (second division) guaranteed a place in the last four.
Runaway Championship leaders Burnley are also in the draw, with a short visit to play Manchester City at the Ethiad Stadium. City go into the game after their 7-0 thrashing of BR Leipzig on Tuesday night and after coach Pep Guardiola withdrew Erling Haaland with half an hour left to play after the Norwegian had scored five goals and was looking for a history-making sixth.
League Two (fourth division) Grimsby Town are the massive underdogs and they and around 4,000 fans (all armed with their inflatable ‘Harry the Haddock’ mascot), look to keep the dream alive as they visit an impressive Brighton.
Brighton are clear favorites to progress against Grimsby, but they can’t be too overconfident against a rival that has already beaten three Championship sides and won away to Southampton in the last round of the Cup.
The last tie of the weekend sees Manchester United at home to Fulham, with United looking for success in three cup competitions after their win in the Carabao Cup final against Newcastle and their progress to the quarterfinals of the Europa League on Thursday, with a 5-1 aggregate win over Betis.
Manchester City’s Cup commitments give Arsenal a chance to move eight points clear in the Premier League. Despite Thursday’s exit from the Europa League on penalties to Sporting Lisbon, Mikel Arteta’s side is clear favorites to beat Crystal Palace, who travel to the Emirates Stadium after the club sacked Patrick Viera on Friday after a run of 12 games without a win and just four goals in 2023 left them just three points above the relegation zone.
There is an interesting game at Stamford Bridge where an improving Chelsea entertain Sean Dyche’s Everton, who have also got tougher to beat since the arrival of the former Burnley coach.
Three defeats and two draws in five games have halted Nottingham Forest’s recovery and they have a vital match against Newcastle United on Friday night.
Newcastle’s narrow win over Wolverhampton last weekend ended their own run without a win and another three points would put them right back in the hunt for a top-four finish.
Four straight defeats for Leicester City have seen them drop to 16th in the table and they are level on points with 18th place Bournemouth. Leicester face an awkward visit to Brentford, who moved up to eighth on Wednesday after a 2-0 win in Southampton.
That defeat dented Southampton’s hopes of climbing out of the bottom three, but they will have another chance when they entertain Tottenham on Saturday.
Spurs showed the commitment coach Antonio Conte had been looking for with a 3-1 win against Nottingham Forest last weekend, but consistency has been their issue this season and that makes this game hard to call.
Bournemouth meanwhile travel to play Aston Villa, while Wolves entertain Leeds United in a key battle to move clear of the relegation zone.