Fresh from outstanding performances in Europe in midweek, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur will continue their quest for silverware as they bid for a place in the quarterfinals of the FA Cup this weekend. The 16 remaining clubs meet across four days with favorite City traveling to Wigan Athletic to face the League One side and Rochdale trying to upset Tottenham. City takes on Wigan having put four goals past Basel in Switzerland Tuesday in a performance that left manager Pep Guardiola purring. "It's not easy to keep the level we have been playing at, but we did it," he said. "Overall, I'm delighted. Now we prepare for the next game against Wigan on Monday. "We are still in February. In the Premier League, we are in an amazing position, 16 points in front. But nothing is won yet. Like we said in the beginning, game by game. We try to arrive focused and win the games," he said.
Guardiola is likely to rotate his side at Wigan but City captain Vincent Kompany said they will take the League One side just as seriously as they did Basel. "We have just as much desire to play well against Wigan on Monday as we did in Basel. There will be no difference," he said.
Tottenham, on the other hand, travels to Rochdale Sunday buoyed by the way it recovered from an early two-goal deficit to draw 2-2 at Juventus in the Champions League. That performance was a sign of their increasing maturity, something midfielder Christian Eriksen acknowledged. "The games against the top teams, [a few years ago] when we were 2-0 down after nine minutes, we'd lose 6-0," Eriksen said. "That's the thing we've changed with the manager coming in and with the players we have. Everyone has grown up and they are not going to lie down if they are 2-0 down."
Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino had expressed his concern about the state of the Rochdale playing surface, which looked very poor in their replay win over Millwall. But midfielder Dele Alli said Spurs would not be worried about it and just go about doing the job required. "We're not soft," The Guardian quoted Alli as saying. "A lot of us grew up playing on worse pitches than that. A lot of us grew up playing on concrete and surfaces like that so I don't think the pitch is a problem. We've just got to go there and be professional and put on a good performance to win the game."
Manchester United and Chelsea, who both play their Champions League last-16 first-leg matches next week, should be fresh for their fifth-round clashes. Chelsea, who broke a two-match losing streak by beating West Brom Monday, hosts Championship Hull City Friday while Manchester United is away to Huddersfield on Saturday. Hull has 11 players unavailable for the clash with Chelsea, but manager Nigel Adkins is urging his side to go for broke. "We've just got to get on with it," he told the Hull Daily Mail. "It's a great game to be playing Chelsea in the fifth round of the FA Cup." Leicester takes on Sheffield United, Sheffield Wednesday tries to upset Swansea, Brighton and Hove Albion plays Coventry and West Bromwich Albion faces Southampton in the other matches.